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.
Find out more about Foster Care Training Opportunities
Find out more about our Foster Care Community
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.
Fostering in a Digital World App
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.
Further information on the Fostering in a Digital World Safeguarding App can be viewed through the following videos
Overview of the app
Section walkthrough of the app
The Fostering Network
The Fostering Network is a voluntary agency in Northern Ireland who provides support to foster carers.
Out of Hours Regional Emergency Social Work Service
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.
Support groups near you
To find a foster care support group near you, choose from the below options:
Support and Development
Contact: June Martin
Adolescent Partnership support group
Contact: Sharon Hayward
Kinship foster carer support group
Frequency: Alternate Wednesdays
Contact: Carlene McCullough
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 email@example.com
South Eastern area
Down & Lisburn Support Groups
Frequency: One evening per month
Contact: Paula Hall
Locations: Grove House, Ballynahinch
Warren Children’s Centre, Lisburn
Bangor Support Group
Frequency: One evening bi monthly
Contact: Roisin Maguire,
Location: Bangor Community Hospital
Intensive Support Scheme, Support Group
Contact: Francis Kavanagh
Location: Grove House, Ballynahinch
Fostering Positive Family Relationships and Step Up Step Down Schemes Support Group
Contact: Shauna Garvin
Location: Grove House, Ballynahinch
Southern Area Foster Care Support Group
Frequency: First Monday of each month (10am—12.30pm)
Contact: Kelly McAteer
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)