Foster in Your Community Week: making a difference in Dublin 15

by Rose Barrett
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A very important event is happening in Dublin 15 this week,  and one that aims to highlight the urgent need for foster carers in the community, writes Rose Barrett. 

‘Foster in Your Community Week’ runs this week from from Monday last to Friday, June 18. This is an initiative led by Five Rivers Fostering, a local social enterprise fostering organisation. The event aims to encourage individuals and families to consider fostering and make a positive impact on the lives of children and young people across our community.

Gráinne, an emergency foster carer with Five Rivers Ireland, shares her experience and inspires others to step forward. Gráinne’s journey towards becoming a foster carer was filled with uncertainty and self-doubt. However, her determination and the support she received from Five Rivers   hankfully changed her perspective.

“As a single person, I always believed that becoming a foster carer wasn’t possible for me. But one day, while browsing through Facebook, I saw that Five Rivers was looking for carers. That was the moment I told myself, ‘You can do this’,” Gráinne explain said.

After a thorough assessment process, which included interviews and training, Gráinne successfully completed her assessment and had her application sent to the fostering committee. She vividly recalls the day in December 2020 when she received the phone call from her Fostering Social Worker, informing her that she had been approved for emergency, respite, and bridging placements. It was a joyous and memorable moment for Gráinne.

Since then, Gráinne has opened her home and heart to 35 children, ranging from 2 to 16 years old, within just one year of being a foster carer. She even had the privilege of providing temporary shelter to two dogs, who played a special role in the lives of children in need of emergency foster care!

Gráinne admits that she had initial concerns about how the children would adapt to her home, but those worries quickly faded away as the children bonded and thrived under her care. Although she acknowledges the challenges of hearing about the difficult experiences some of the children have endured, Gráinne emphasises the importance of having a strong support system. Her family and the dedicated team at Five Rivers provide her with the guidance and understanding she needs.

Gráinne’s message to those who feel uncertain or think that fostering is out of reach is clear: “Just find out more information. If you have a big heart and can make a child feel safe, you can truly make a difference in their lives. Reach out to Five Rivers and discover how you can become a foster carer, just like me”.

Deirdre McDonagh, CEO of Five Rivers Fostering, adds, “Foster in Your Community Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about the urgent need for foster carers in Dublin 1 And across Dublin. We are in the midst of a crisis, and we urgently require homes for children and young people in Dublin 15. We encourage everyone to consider fostering and to get in touch with us for more information.”

During Foster in Your Community Week, Five Rivers Fostering has teamed up with St Brigid’s GAA club, Navan Road and is hosting an information evening on Thursday, June 15th, at 7 P.M-8 P.M. This is an excellent opportunity to connect with a supportive community of like-minded individuals and to learn more about the process, ask questions, and meet the dedicated team from Five Rivers.

If you have ever considered fostering and would like more information, whether you can attend the information evening or not, please reach out to the Five Rivers Dublin office at 01/8665291. By stepping up, you can transform the life of a child in Dublin 15. Care today, change tomorrow.

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