Fostering (see Adoption also)
The Trust provides fostering and adoption services to people in Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon, and Newry and Mourne. 'Til I Grow Up - Information Evening about Fostering and Adoption There are children of all ages across the Southern Trust who may never be able to live with their birth parents, who need a permanent home for the rest of their childhood. Being a foster care does not necessarily require a full time commitment. There are a wide range of children who need looked after for varying amounts of time. The information evening will also share details about alternative types of fostering that are required, including emergency, respite and short term care. There are no unwanted children. Just unfound families. Don’t rule yourself out. To register your interest call 028 38 337181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For further information visit www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net
The Family Placement Service are holding an information evening, on Thursday 11th May, 7.00pm - 9.00pm at the Seagoe Hotel, Portadown.
If you are resilient, flexible and have the energy, time and commitment to care for a child or young person, come along to our information evening. You will have the opportunity to speak with carers, meet social workers and learn more about specific children needing placements. The event is open to all members of the public.
The Family Placement Service will be available to guide you through the training and support that is available, including financial allowances and tax benefits. Foster carers receive up to £191 p/w for general fostering and £524 p/w under the intensive support scheme.
The Trust provides fostering and adoption services to people in Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon, and Newry and Mourne.
'Til I Grow Up - Information Evening about Fostering and Adoption
There are children of all ages across the Southern Trust who may never be able to live with their birth parents, who need a permanent home for the rest of their childhood.
Being a foster care does not necessarily require a full time commitment. There are a wide range of children who need looked after for varying amounts of time. The information evening will also share details about alternative types of fostering that are required, including emergency, respite and short term care.
There are no unwanted children. Just unfound families. Don’t rule yourself out.
To register your interest call 028 38 337181 or email email@example.com
For further information visit www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net
What is fostering?
It is caring for children who for some reason cannot be cared for within their own families. Sometimes it is not possible or safe for children to remain in their own/extended family and they need to be looked after by foster carers. Fostering allows children to live with ordinary families and to lead as normal a life as possible. Fostering is a shared task between foster carers, social workers and natural parents. We encourage regular contact between children, their parents and extended family. This is very important for the child.
Who can foster?
ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE: married, single, young, old, employed, unemployed, big house or small - you may have something to offer a child in need of a secure and loving family experience.
Why are foster parents needed?
It is a sad fact that some children cannot live at home with their own families. There are all kinds of reasons for this:
- Family crisis
- Parent becoming ill
- Family under pressure
- Neglect or abuse
- Disability requiring support
These children need to be part of an ordinary family - they will perhaps be sad, confused, angry at their situation and foster carers can help them work through these feelings.
Types of Foster Care:
- Emergency - caring for a child when a crisis arises. This will be for a short period, a matter of days usually.
- Bridge Carers - temporarily caring for a new baby or older child, maybe for a matter of months until the child moves on to an adoptive home.
- Assessment carers - a temporary arrangement where a child is looked after for short periods of time due to perhaps family crisis, because a parent is ill, due to difficult behaviour. The plan will be for the child to return home or if old enough to live independently in the community, following a period of assessment
- Permanent carers - some children need foster care for a longer period because a return home is not envisaged. When this is required we need carers who are able to offer a stable, permanent home.
- Respite care - a time-limited arrangement, usually 1 weekend per month or perhaps longer at special times.
- Relative/Friend placement - where a child is related/known to you and you feel you cannot offer placement without the support of Social Services. If a child cannot remain at home for whatever reason a social worker will in the first instance see if that child could be cared for by family or friends.
- Children with disabilities - children who have learning difficulties or a physical disability may need to be placed in long term foster care. In other circumstances, there may be a need for a child / young person to be placed regularly with foster carers for a few days each week or each month in order to provide regular support to their birth families. For further information on fostering children with disabilities, contact Valerie Quinn, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 028 8775 2033.
Q. Do foster carers get paid?
A. Allowances are paid and if on benefits these are not affected. Expenses covered include food, clothing, footwear, pocket money, school uniforms etc.
Q. Is there a choice of child?
A. We will discuss the needs of a particular child, age, sex, religion, etc. and will match the child to a family appropriately.
Q. Do parents keep contact with their child?
A. This is encouraged and is very important to children. Our goal would be to return a child to his/her family ideally and we know that sustained contact makes this an easier process.
Q. What about equipment?
A. We provide equipment e.g. bed, bedding, cot, pram, etc.
Fostering isn’t all about giving - you also get an awful lot back:
- You’ll be making a real difference to a child’s life.
- You’ll be helping keep families together.
- Fostering can enrich your experience of life.
- Things that some of our foster carers have said:
- “Just to see her smile in the morning makes it all worthwhile.”
- “My own children are now more understanding and tolerant.”
- “Seeing him become more confident is just great.”
- “It’s hard to let go but I know I’ve done a good job in helping this child move on.”
- “I’d do it all again.”
Family Placement Service
Southern Health & Social Care Trust
Head of Service: Martin McGrath Tel: 028 30 825120 Recruitment, Training & Placement Team Tel: 028 38 337181 Team Leader: Sheila Smyth All fostering enquiries, adoption enquiries and requests for trust foster care or kinship care placements to: Tel: 028 87 752033 Team Leader: Roisin Hughes Assessment and Support Team Tel: 028 30 832693 Team Leader: Arthur Kirwan Tel: 028 30 834399 Team Leader: Joan McGuinness
Service Manager: Gemma Fitzsimmons Tel: 028 30 834399
2 Old Lurgan Road
Assessment and Support Team
20 Coalisland Road
Adoption and Permanence Team
John Mitchell Place
Recruitment, Training & Placement Team
Tel: 028 38 337181
Team Leader: Sheila Smyth
All fostering enquiries, adoption enquiries and requests for trust foster care or kinship care placements to:
Tel: 028 87 752033
Team Leader: Roisin Hughes
Assessment and Support Team
Tel: 028 30 832693
Team Leader: Arthur Kirwan
Tel: 028 30 834399
Team Leader: Joan McGuinness
Intensive Support Fostering Scheme
We are currently recruiting foster carers for the Intensive Support Fostering Scheme
What is Intensive Support Fostering?
Intensive Support Fostering scheme is a small specialist fostering service for young people who have experienced traumatic experiences which results in them often being driven by emotions and having difficulty in making the right choices to keep them safe.
The scheme will have a maximum of 15 foster carers who will care for young people between 9 and 17 years of age living within the Southern Trust area.
Aim of the scheme
The scheme will provide high quality care in a family setting for all young people who need it.
The scheme will provide the opportunity for accessing a further range of foster care placements which incorporates a Therapeutic support.
The scheme will promote increased choice for young people in foster care, which will provide stability with experienced carers, offer permanence and improve outcomes for young people
The identified needs of a young person will determine the match for each potential foster placement.
Respect for foster carers as significant partners alongside all other professionals involved with the young person.
The wishes and feelings of young people will be actively sought and taken into account.
We offer foster carers
• A salary of £18,000 and a fostering allowance for each young person placed.
• Travel expenses
• Regular visits and telephone contact from a supervising social worker
• 24 hour on call telephone support from out of hours service (this includes evenings weekends and bank holidays)
• Foster carer support groups
• 21 days paid leave
• Planned respite based on the needs of the young person
• A clinical psychologist will provide support for carers
• Support from an outreach service
• Membership of the Fostering Network, who offer advice, insurance and support to foster carers
• Monthly placement review meetings
• Recognised training pathway opportunities
Support for young people in placement
• A named social worker who will visit the young person at least once per month
• A social work therapist will support each placement and work closely to progress the young person’s move from foster care back to his / her birth family or to independent living if appropriate
• Monthly placement review meetings
Who can apply to become an Intensive Support foster carer?
Intensive Support foster carers will be individuals or couples with experience of caring for young people or vulnerable adults. They will have insight into the young person’s difficulties and be committed to working with them to help stabilise their behaviour for a minimum of 18 months.
Due to the intensive support required by the young person, one foster carer is required to be available on a full time basis.
There will be no other young people fostered in the placement as research has shown that this can affect the stability of the placement for young people with challenging behaviours.
Preferably, there will be no other young people of a similar age living in the household although this will depend on the age and maturity of the child.
The young people referred to the scheme
The young people referred to the scheme will be aged 9-17 and our currently subject to on-going care proceedings or subject to a care order. Young people may exhibit a variety of behaviours:
• Issues with school attendance or exclusion has been identified as a concern
• There is a history of relational breakdowns
• Young person is at risk of offending
• Difficulty in attaching or relating to significant others
• Poor impulse control
• Difficulty coping with living in a group situation
Assessment process for potential foster carers
• Initial enquiry made to Intensive Support Fostering Team
• Initial home visit
• Applicant completes Skills to Foster course
• Police, health, social services and employment checks are carried out
• Assessing social worker gathers information about the applicants and their abilities in relation to caring for young people, providing a safe environment working as part of a team and personal development through interviews, case studies, exercises, witness statements and referee interviews
• Assessment contribution from the Therapeutic Lead for the Intensive Support Fostering Scheme.
• The completed assessment is presented to a multi-disciplinary panel for approval. The role of the panel is to confirm that the assessment process has been carried out in accordance with legal requirements and Trust policies, decide if the applicant should be approved and identify any areas of skill and knowledge that require further training
• A young person will be placed with the foster carers following a comprehensive information gathering, matching and planning process
• All foster carers will be subject to an annual review to ensure they continue to meet the requirements of the Intensive Support foster carers
Contact us Family Placement Service Bocombra Lodge, 2 Old Lurgan Road, Portadown, BT63 5SG 02838337181 Useful Websites
For more information contact the Recruitment, Training & Placements Team:
Family Placement Service
Bocombra Lodge, 2 Old Lurgan Road, Portadown, BT63 5SG