‘Our carers are the best advocates’ – HSC NI Foster Care launches fostering podcast | News in Newry

Posted by
editor@newrytimes.com
Wednesday, September 7th, 2022
Community, News

Two Newry women have spoken of the highlights and challenges of opening their homes and their hearts to vulnerable young people as foster carers.

 

‘Our carers are the best advocates’ - HSC NI Foster Care launches fostering podcast | News in Newry - todays news newry

 

Ciara Heaney and Bronagh Galloghly were speaking on the first episode of a new podcast, ‘Voices of Fostering’ which explores how fostering can change the lives of both carers and young people.

The podcast seeks to find out what attracts people to fostering, the benefits it brings as well as the impact it has on families, while also highlighting some of the challenges which can come with looking after young people.

Hosted by Melanie Coffey, Senior Manager for Fostering & Adoption in the Southern area, and Fionnuala McAtamney, Consultant Lead Psychologist, each episode deals with a different aspect of fostering.

There are currently over 3,500 children currently being looked after outside of their birth families in Northern Ireland and of these, almost 82% are in foster care.

 


Ad NT Tender for Growth Programme (400 × 400px)


 

With an increasing number of young people coming into care, The Fostering Network estimates that 265 more fostering families are needed across Northern Ireland to ensure every child and young person gets the care they need from foster carers within their own community.

Melanie says, “We desperately need more foster carers to come forward, but we know and appreciate that it can be a big decision.

“The best advocates for fostering are the people who are doing it every day, therefore this new podcast can be a really valuable tool for us to recruit more foster carers.

“It lets listeners hear what motivates people to become foster carers, the process they go through to become registered and the ongoing training and support they receive.

“We also hear from family members as the impact on them is something prospective foster carers must consider.

“We also don’t want to shy away from some of the challenges which exist for carers, but we feel by talking about them openly, then people can be fully informed to make decisions.

“Another thing we regularly hear is that people’s family circumstances make them think they aren’t eligible to become foster carers.

“But with different types of fostering, it is highly likely you will find something which suits.

 

 

“Our HSC NI Foster Care Community is made up of a rich mix of people including couples, single foster carers, parent and adult children who foster together, and foster carers from ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ+ community.”

In the first episode foster carers, Ciara Heaney and Bronagh Galloghly, reveal how they became involved in fostering.

Bronagh says, “My own children are now adults with children of their own.

“I loved being a full-time mum and it left a huge void in my life when I couldn’t do that anymore.

“I knew something had to give as I was starting to buy clothes for the dog!

“My husband and I just thought we have a lovely home which we could be making much more use of so we made the phone call to our local fostering team and we’ve never looked back.

“I love every minute of it and I would encourage other people to do the same,” she adds.

 


153799_Buttercrane_Its-Personal_C17_Newry-Times - news in newry - newry newspaper


 

Fostering hadn’t been on Ciara Heaney’s radar until her daughter revealed to her just how much HSC NI Foster Care is in need of more recruits.

Ciara says, “We have five birth children, two of which still live at home, six grandchildren and a cousin also lives with us, so it was a busy house.

“We now look after two other young people and have come to be very passionate about fostering.

“My oldest daughter is a social worker but I had never really heard a lot about fostering.

“My daughter came home one evening and said, “Mum, there’s a great need for foster carers, would you not give it a shot?”

“My husband and I discussed it and made the phone call. The first step was the hardest part, but since then we have been guided all the way through. I would recommend fostering to anyone.”

To listen to episode one of ‘Voices of Fostering’, visit https://soundcloud.com/voices-of-fostering/voices-of-fostering-ep-1

If you are interested in hearing more about becoming a foster carer, call HSC NI Foster Care on 0800 0720 137 or visit adoptionandfostercare.hscni.net.

 


Keep up to date with all the latest Newry news, what’s on Newry, and Today’s Newry News Now HERE.


 

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

-->

This website does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings.

We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on 16/01/2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact Newry Times by emailing editor@newrytimes.com

Log in