A-Level success for student raised in foster care16th September 2019
A student from Newtownards attributes her recent A-Level exam success to the support she received from her foster family as the Regional Adoption and Fostering Service launches new campaign encouraging more people to become foster carers through the Health and Social Care Trusts. 19-year-old Courtney joined her foster family, who foster through the Belfast Trust, at the age of 12 and is now planning to attend Belfast Met later this month to begin a HND course in Business Studies.
Courtney said: “I’ve lived with my foster carers for the past 7 years and they are the most supportive and caring family. We spend a lot of time together like any other family; we cook together and my foster carers are always available if I wanted to talk through anything. My foster carers always encouraged me to do my best at school and I know that if I hadn’t lived with my foster family my life would look very different now.”
Courtney would encourage anyone considering fostering to enquire now and provide a home for other children and young people who are living in care. She said: “Foster care provides children and young people with a loving home and a safe space where they can grow as individuals. It is the most wonderful experience and I would not have the opportunities I have now if I hadn’t lived with my foster carers.”
The Regional Adoption and Fostering Service is currently seeking to recruit foster carers to meet the growing demand of children and young people living in care. Currently there are more than 3,000 children and young people in foster care in Northern Ireland.
Una Carragher, Principal Social Worker, Regional Adoption and Fostering Service said: “There are many myths about who can and cannot foster. We welcome enquiries regardless of race, religion, language, culture, gender, disability, age and sexual orientation.
“We are looking for people who can open up their hearts and homes to provide care for children and young people like Courtney who is now progressing to third-level education as a result of the support she received from her foster carers. Foster carers must be willing to offer a safe and secure home where children and young people feel valued, respected and cared for.”
If you have ever considered fostering, or would like further information on how to become a foster carer, then please contact the Regional Adoption and Fostering Service on 0800 0720 137 or click here.