Support for Foster Carers
We are here to help you during the foster care process. Training designed specifically for the challenges and rewards of foster caring is seen as an integral part of the fostering process.
We have developed a broad training schedule which covers all aspects of fostering, and is continually updated and renewed based on new legislation, community and societal changes, and the ongoing challenges facing children and young people in Foster Care.
We hope through training, we can offer constructive and confidence building information to all applicants to ensure they feel informed and supported at all stages. The training programme is available to all Foster Carers in order that they stay updated and educated on all things relevant to their role as carers.
Support groups can offer a much needed opportunity to share concerns, answer questions, and make connections with other Foster Carers. These groups are often attended by carers who have in depth experience, knowledge and expertise gained over years in fostering and who can offer invaluable support to new Foster Carers.
You will have a supervising social worker, who will be allocated to you from your local fostering team. Their role is to supervise and support you when children and young people are in your care. You will meet with them regularly and they are always just a phone call away.
We also have a ‘Fostering in a Digital World’ Safeguarding App. It enables Foster Carers to be more comfortable and familiar with technology so they can approach and safeguard the young people in their care. To download the App on the Apple Store click here. To download the Android App on Google Play click here.
If you do not have a smartphone and you aren’t able to download the ‘Fostering in a Digital World’ Safeguarding App please contact your supervising social worker who will be able to assist you in getting the information in an alternative format.
The Fostering Network is a voluntary agency in Northern Ireland who provides support to Foster Carers.
Outside normal office hours, there is an out of hours service which is called the Regional Emergency Social Work Service. Click here to see more about this service.
To find a Foster Care support group near you, choose from the below options;
- Belfast area
Carrickfergus support group
Contact: 028 93315111
Magherafelt support group
Contact: 028 79366840
Ballymoney support group
Contact: 0300 123 1155
Ballymoney kinship support group
Contact: 028 27661521
Join the Northern area support group on Facebook. Connect with other Foster Carers and share tips & resources. Register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
South Eastern area
Newry & Mourne Fostering Support Group
Frequency: First Monday of each month (10am—12.30pm)
Contact: Kelly McAteer
Armagh & Dungannon Fostering Support Group
Frequency: Second Monday of each month except July & August (730pm—930pm)
Venue: County Armagh Golf Club
Contact: Sharon Galway
L/Derry fostering support group
Frequency: Last Tuesday of every month
Contact: Jacqueline Sharkey (foster carer)
Tel: 0752 3206 141
Omagh and Fermanagh fostering support group
Contact: Mary Slevin (foster carer)