Skip to Main Content Skip to Site Map Skip to Accessibility Statement

Young People

There are more than 3,000 children and young people across Northern Ireland in foster care.

All children and young people thrive when cared for by a loving and supportive foster carer. Below are some of the stories from the children and young people in our care.

Could you foster? We would love to hear from you.

Please note: these stories are not real children but are profiles with typical backgrounds of children and young people in our care.

  • Jack (10)

    Jack is 10 years old and is the second eldest child of a sibling group of four.

    He lived with extended family initially but this didn’t work out. He was moved to a foster placement with a family who have four daughters, aged 5-14. It is a busy family home but his individual needs and sense of belonging are difficult to meet in this environment.

    Jack enjoys good general health.  He wears glasses as he is short-sighted and has a moderate stigmatization.

    Jack is generally very talkative, pleasant, full of life and is usually smiling and eager to please.  However, he does not like to talk about what is happening to him and it is concerning that he has been found crying alone. He has had a highly emotional response to disappointment at times and has required support with this to return to being his cheery self.

    Jack may need therapeutic support to help him understand what is happening to him. Jack would benefit from a stable home environment with the potential to provide him with long-term care in order to avoid any further moves and promote the development of a secure attachment relationship with a carer to feel safe enough to address and recover from the trauma he has experienced to date.

    Jack enjoys playing games on his tablet and making crafts.

    He loves to play with hair and would like to be a hairdresser when he grows up.  Jack is also very tactile.

    Jack is in Primary 6.  He enjoys school very much and is always eager to go in the mornings. He is motivated to complete his homework as soon as he returns to his Placement or during Contact with his mum.

    Jack particularly enjoys Art and Maths. He does have some difficulties academically and is not able to keep up with his peers in terms of literacy and numeracy. Jack is availing of support in relation to this.

    Jack enjoys doing group activities and enjoys weekend residential as part of a group he is involved with.  He is enthusiastic, sociable and there have been no issues regarding his behaviour while within a group.

    Jack enjoys spending time with his brothers and they enjoy playing video games together. He has a close relationship with his three brothers and misses them.

    Jack has a close relationship with his maternal extended family and his current placement has enabled him to remain part of that extended family unit. Contact with maternal family is very important to him.

    HSC Northern Ireland Foster Carers receive on-going training, 24 hour social work support and financial allowances. Click here for more information on support.

    If you would like to hear more about fostering, please contact us on 0800 0720 137 or click here.

  • Charlie (6) & Jason (5) - Siblings

    Charlie* is six years old with blonde hair and blue eyes. He is a happy, healthy little boy who goes to mainstream school. He has a good appetite; he’s not a fussy eater and he enjoys a good range of foods. Charlie has responded well to living with a family who have established routines. He is very well behaved and is not challenging to his carers. He is sociable and makes friends very easily. Charlie is chatty and  inquisitive and loves to know how things work. He enjoys cartoons and loves to collect toy action figures. Charlie loves his brother Jason and would really like for them to be able to live together.

    Jason* is five years old. He goes to special school which he absolutely loves and he gets to school every day via a special door to door bus service. He uses a specialised wheelchair but loves being independent and doing things for himself. Jason has a physical disability but doesn’t let this get in his way. He has a cheeky sense of fun and is bright and alert. Jason can make his needs known easily and communicates through verbal interaction, eye contact and smiles. Everyone who knows him comments on his warm personality and great memory for names. Jason is very close to his brother Charlie and would love to be able to live with him.

    If you are patient, understanding and have some extra space in your home you might be able to help Charlie and Jason through a difficult time in their lives.

    Get in touch with HSC Northern Ireland today to learn more about fostering by calling 0800 0720 137 or by filling in our online form.

    To read more about fostering, including support and the process click here.

  • Sarah (15)

    Hi, my name is Sarah and I am 15. I am quite shy when you first meet me but once I get to know you I am happy and ready for hugs. I find it very difficult to learn and go to a special school which I love. My teacher says that I am working well and trying my best. I have a lot of friends and am in the choir and samba band. I am usually very healthy but have epilepsy which my carers help me manage. This doesn’t stop me doing anything I want to do.

    I sometimes like to do things my own way and can struggle being told what to do. My carers help me with this and explain why I can’t do certain things. I love playing on my X-Box, making 3D lego and doing jig-saws. I am very arty and love colouring in which chills me out and making crafts. I really love dogs and other animals and want a job working with them when I am older.

    Like most girls of my age I love to go shopping for clothes, make-up and nail varnish. I enjoy meeting my friends at all the local clubs I go to.

    I need foster carers who can look after me until I am eighteen.

    We provide foster carers with social work support and on-going training.

    A Regional Emergency Social Work Service is also available after hours.

    There will be a package of support available from Community Nursing Services and the Children’s Disability Team

    Monthly allowances will be paid to cover the costs of caring for Sarah and due to her complex needs an additional fee will be paid.

    If you would like to hear more about fostering please contact us on 0800 0720 137 or click here.

  • Emily (13)

    Hi, my name is Emily and I am 13 years old! I have brown hair and I’m average height. I am funny and talkative.

    I really enjoy going out and about. I like shopping and coffee shops. I am learning to play guitar at the minute.

    I have had to overcome abuse and even though I enjoy the company of other children I find it hard to share the attention of my carer (because of my early experiences), so it’s easier when I don’t live with younger children. I also need patient carers, as when I am upset my behaviour can sometimes be difficult. Sometimes in the past I have ran away to get away from my feelings.  But I have a very big heart and with the right response can come around.

    I have a diagnosis of ADHD but this does not prevent me from doing anything, it just means that sometimes I need help with my concentration. I used to take medication for this but I don’t any longer. I do go to see some therapeutic supports and I like it when I my social worker visits.

    My mum is not able to look after me. We have a complicated relationship and at the minute I do not want to see her. I very recently found out who my Dad was. This was bitter sweet for me, as I was glad to finally have this confirmed; but it made me sad as it means I am a half sibling to my two brothers, and not a full sibling like I believed I was.

    I lived with one of my brothers in a foster placement for 7 years and I really enjoyed my time here. The placement ended as I was continuing to display difficult behaviours, and my younger brother eventually no longer wanted to live with me. He is still living with my old carers. I am still in contact with them, and they want to help me find new carers.

    I really need stability in my life, I need clear boundaries which will help me understand what I can and cannot do and keep me safe. I need someone who will stick with me even if I try to push them away and to provide me with the time and focus I need.


    We provide foster carers with social work support and on-going training.

    A Regional Emergency Social Work Service is also available after hours.

    To find out more about fostering please get in touch with our online form or by calling 0800 0720 137.

  • Carter (14)

    Carter is a 14 year old boy who is very tall for his age. He is a handsome young man with a shy smile. He enjoys wearing the latest styles, especially shoes.

    Carter is very well mannered, and can appear quiet although engages well in a one to one basis. He enjoys talking about topics that he is interested in such as gaming, art and music.

    Carter is waiting to start a new school. He is currently receiving tutorage to prepare him for the move to this new school. Carter has engaged well with teachers in recent months and appears keen to move onto the next chapter in his education.

    Like many other young men Carter enjoys gaming and spending time on his mobile phone. He also enjoys listening to music and animals.

    Carter is a talented artist and is keen to spend his time drawing and colouring in which promotes mindfulness. While Carter enjoys taking part in activities inside he also takes pleasure from being outside, going for walks exploring nature and working on projects such as fixing things. These are activities he generally prefers to do this by himself.

    Carter is aware that his mum is unable to look after him at present and while it is his wish to return home in the future he will require a long term foster home to provide predictability to his routine. Carter has regular contact with his mum and benefits from this relationship.

    Social workers are looking for a long term foster placement to care for Carter; somewhere he can be an only child with grown-ups who are understanding of his needs. Carter would need a foster placement where he can have routine and structure to his week.

    Family is important to Carter and he loves seeing his mum. Carter looks forward to a day that he can return home. Sometimes contact with his mum doesn’t end too well which can cause Carter upset. It would be important for his carers to understand this and to support him should this occur, while also allowing him to have the opportunity to have time to gather his thoughts.

    Carter would be best placed in a home where he is the only child. While Carter can occupy himself he would also require attention and understanding that it can take him a while to build trust in new relationships. With time and patience carers can help Carter to feel cared for be encouraged to make positive choices in his life.

    Carter is looking for a trusting home environment where he is provided with consistency of care, understanding of why he sometimes behaves the way he does.

Also in this Section

Also in this Section