The Irish Foster Care Association (IFCA) is the representative body for foster care in Ireland that promotes excellence in foster care for all those involved.
Their membership is broad based and includes foster and relative carers, social workers, child care workers, academics and others with an interest in or who are involved in foster care.
Fostering Fortnight is the IFCA’s annual awareness campaign to promote awareness of foster care and the incredible work being done by so many people in support of the most vulnerable of our children, that are being raised in foster care in Ireland.
It is a chance to acknowledge and celebrate all those within the fostering community who play an important role in supporting children in foster care. From foster families and related professionals, to the wider community and others working to ensure that children in foster care are supported to reach their full potential.
Fostering fortnight acknowledges the team effort that goes into promoting excellence in foster care.
The theme this year is ‘Fostering Changes Lives’ and #bepartofit
How to get involved:
They are asking everyone to come together during Fostering Fortnight and support one another with coffee mornings, bake sales, family baking and fun get-togethers.
IFCA offers a dedicated Support Service to members and anyone involved or interested in foster care in Ireland.
This service provides practical information and advice regarding any aspect of fostering as well as a supportive listening ear.
IFCA regularly meets with Tusla and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and other stakeholders to communicate the issues and experiences of our members and propose positive solutions to inform best practice in foster care in Ireland.
The Importance of Foster Care
Foster care is the backbone of the alternative care system in Ireland.
The number of children in care at the end of November 2017 was 6,182; of these, 92% are in foster care (65% in general foster care and 27% in relative foster care.)
This means that the majority of children in care, are supported in a family setting and can grow and develop in a secure environment while remaining connected to their birth family.
There are different types of foster care in Ireland; short term and long-term placements, emergency care and respite care. All of these offer support to a child in need and we should be proud that in Ireland the majority of children in care are cared for in this environment.
The Irish Foster Care Association carried out research amongst its members in 2017* and what was clear to see from the research was the enthusiasm of foster families for the children in their care.
A total of 95% of foster carer respondents reported that knowing they have helped a child or family in need as being a reward.
It was clear from the survey that foster carers saw fostering as a vocation rather than as a career or a profession.
Membership of the Association is open to all those who have an interest in foster care.
You can join by visiting www.ifca.ie or by contacting the Office Tel: 01 459 9474.
Remember the first year’s membership is free.
- Foster Care can change lives; for both the child in foster care, their birth family and the foster family.
- The IFCA Helpline is available five days per week from 11am – 3pm
Telephone: 01 458 5123 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org