Tusla’s National Fostering Week results in 350 enquiries from people interested in becoming foster carers

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Fostering Fortnight

Tusla Child and Family Agency provide you with the training and support to enable you to give a child a second chance at getting the best start in life. Open your home - open your heart

Tusla - Child and Family Agency has received 350 enquiries from members of the public, to date, following the agency’s first ever national public awareness and recruitment drive for new foster carers.

Tusla’s National Fostering Week took place from the 14th - 20th  October. Since then the agency has received dozens of calls, emails, and online applications on a daily basis from people who are interested in becoming foster carers. The campaign aimed to challenge common misconceptions about foster care eligibility, and encouraged people from all walks of life to consider providing a loving, stable home environment to a vulnerable child.

Patricia Finlay, Service Director and national lead for fostering, Tusla commented: “We are deeply grateful that such a large number of people have got in touch with Tusla requesting information on how to become a foster carer. We have also been overwhelmed with the support from a range of other stakeholders too. I urge anyone who has an interest in becoming a foster carer to contact us, and we will provide them with details and advice about what fostering entails. Our need for carers is particularly acute in the greater Dublin area, and in larger urban communities.

“There are currently 4,254 foster carers in the Republic of Ireland. We are mindful, that in the course of family life, emergencies and incidents happen that require out-of-hours support. To assist foster carers in these situations Tusla now offers emergency out-of-hours phone line support 365 days a year for Tusla foster carers (1890 800 511).

"In addition, the Government recently announced that foster carers will now be entitled to insurance cover from the State in their role as foster carers. Tusla is very keen to ensure that existing, and a new generation of foster carers feel rewarded and valued for the hugely important and positive influence they have on the lives of children in their care. It is essential that we provide them with optimum support, guidance, training and encouragement in the course of their family life.”

Members of the public wishing to contact Tusla about fostering can call freephone 1800 226 771, email tusla.fostering@tusla.ie or visit fostering.ie.