Of the 11 district council areas into which the North is divided, Fermanagh and Omagh is home to the third-highest number of children in care.
And, of the many youths that are supported within the Western Health Trust’s care system, 82 per-cent of them live in foster care, which equates to around 688 children and young people. But the Western Trust has said that there are not enough people willing to become foster carers on its register.
Without sufficient numbers of people signed up to become foster carers, it its inevitable that some of these children and young people will not get the support they need to develop, thrive and grow to the fullest of their potential.
Therefore, to recruit more foster families to keep these children safe, nurtured and loved, the Western Trust has embarked on a campaign to encourage people in the right position to come forward and make a difference to a child’s life.
One of the first of these will be held in the Mellon Country Inn, outside Omagh, this Saturday, April 1, from 2pm to 4pm.
A spokesperson for the Trust explained what they hope to achieve when they meet with the public this Saturday.
“Every child deserves a loving environment,” they began, “and the Trust is now recruiting for all types of foster carers (long and short-term) who can make a difference to the lives of children.”
Continuing, they said, “There are many ways that you can make a difference to a child’s life through fostering. Whether you want to offer a loving home for a short while, something more long-term, enable a planned break, or step in during an emergency situation, you can make a valuable impact on a child’s life.”
Becoming a foster carer can be both rewarding and fulfilling, and those who take on the reponsibility often report their lives being enriched with newfound meaning and purpose.
The spokesperson added, “So, on Saturday, April 1, our Fostering Recruitment and Assessment Team will be holding an event in the Mellon Country Inn where you can ask questions and find out more about fostering, speak with experienced foster carers and support staff, and learn about how taking on a child – long or short-term – could impact your life.”