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Meet Orla – one of our kinship Foster Carers

1st July 2020

*This is a model and not one of Orla's sisters to protect their identity.

During this unprecedented time in line with government guidelines we have seen all face to face training across Adoption and Foster Care paused temporarily.

HSC Northern Ireland have over 50 online training courses available to our Foster Carers and Adoptive Parents. We encourage all Foster Carers and Adopters to take part in this training to make sure you can still learn new skills despite the current pandemic. Please click here to view all the resources and remember to tell your supervising social worker if you complete any training to update your records.

Orla, a HSC Kinship Foster Carer has taken part in some online training and she has shared some of her views.

*Please note: this image is not of Orla or her
sisters to help protect their identities.


My name is Orla and I am in my second year of Kinship Foster caring. I look after my two sisters; they are 13 and 16 years old. During this unprecedented time I have taken part in some online training.

What are the benefits of learning & development opportunities for you as a Foster Carer? 

The benefits of learning and developing opportunities to me as a foster carer are that I get to develop my knowledge further in the comfort of my own home. By doing so I am able keep up to date with fostering practises and ensuring that I have the skills I need to look after my sisters.

Can you tell me about the online sessions you have completed and what you plan to complete?

During lockdown I have completed a Suicide Prevention Course and also Basic First Aid training course; both online, alongside some reading material on the ‘Fostering In A Digital World App.’

I plan to complete more online reading and online training; I would like to learn more about social media, emotional wellbeing and childhood adversity regarding mental health.

What did you enjoy about completing online sessions what are the benefits of online training?

I enjoy online training as I can do it in the comfort of my own home whenever I have free time, and I feel that I can cover the materials that I want and I can take control of my own learning, although I do miss the social interaction with other people.

Is there a sense of need for both online and face-to-face learning; what are your views?

I think that both online and face-to-face training are equally important.

What would you like to tell other foster carers thinking about online learning & development, have you any tips?

One thing I would like to tell other foster carers about online training is to take advantage of all of the training you can, you might never know when it will benefit you, but I guarantee that at some stage it will. Learn at your own pace whenever you get a free minute. I have learnt some things that will benefit me in life in general.


Are you a Foster Carer or Adoptive parent with HSC Northern Ireland Adoption & Foster Care? Click here to view the online training resources. Remember to tell your supervising social worker once you complete a course to keep your training record up to date.