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Campaign for more foster carers in Louth gets underway next week

Campaign for more foster carers in Louth gets underway next week

The Child and Family Agency Tusla is to launch a new public information campaign in Co Louth next week to recruit more foster carers, and to dispel the myths around foster care eligibility.

The local campaign is part of Tusla’s first national fostering campaign which aims to remove misconceptions about who can foster a child, and to encourage people from all walks of life in Louth to consider providing a loving environment for a vulnerable child.

At present there are 142 foster carers in Louth looking after 244 children.

Tusla National Fostering Week, which takes place from October 14th-20th, is being supported by the Irish Foster Care Association and there will be a fostering information evening on Tuesday October 22nd at 6pm at the Tusla Offices at the Louth County Hospital Campus in Dundalk.

There will also be county-wide advertisements in national schools and secondary schools, as well as local sports clubs and shops.

Tusla’s new chief executive, Bernard Gloster, said: “We are looking for foster carers to provide safe and stable environments for children who, due to a range of reasons, can’t live at home.

“It only takes one person to change a child’s life. I would encourage anyone who feels they can provide a stable and safe family environment for a child to think about fostering and join the 4,254 Tusla foster carers around the country that open their homes to 5,511 children.”

Area Manager for Tusla in Louth, Grainne Sullivan, said: “Placing a child in foster care is only done when all other options have been explored including providing intensive family support services to help a child stay within their own family.

“Foster carers in Louth make a huge contribution to local communities by caring for children and supporting them in participating in schools, sports clubs and other activities.

“There is a critical need to have a diverse range of foster carers available who can meet the individual needs of each child. The child’s needs are identified from listening to the views of the child, their parents and families and from other professionals who know the child.

“There are many myths of who can and can’t foster but every child is different and their needs for foster care can be in an emergency, for respite, short term or long term. We are also looking for relatives to consider providing foster care. We are therefore urging anyone who has thought about fostering to contact us so we can discuss any queries they have.”

Tusla is the only statutory provider of foster care in the Republic of Ireland. All foster carers undergo an assessment with regard to their availability and capacity to care for a child/children. Tusla foster carers receive an allowance of €325 per week per child under 12 and €352 per child for a child aged between 12 and 18-years-old, as well as child benefit entitlements. Each child in foster care will have their own medical card.

Members of the public in Louth wishing to inquire about fostering during Tusla National Fostering Week can visit fostering.ie for more details, contacting freephone 1800 226 771, email tusla.fostering@tusla.ie or follow #Tuslafostering on Tusla’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channels.

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