Trust’s Plea For ‘Special Type Of People’ To Help In Foster Scheme

One of Northern Ireland’s health and social care trusts has launched a search for “caring, committed people” to offer placements for children who have experienced a trauma or are unable to live in a normal foster care setting.

The Northern Trust is hoping to recruit a “special type of person” to join its Support Fostering Scheme. This initiative provides placements for children who have experienced trauma and who have been unable to live in a normal family or foster care setting for a variety of reasons.

The main difference from traditional fostering is that support fostering is a job with an annual salary, appealing to those with relevant social care experience and understanding. The trust said that there are currently three carers who provide this type of fostering in its area.
They are people with special skills who can help prepare a child to move into a normal fostering setting or back into their own family or place of origin.

Lynda Glass is one of the carers employed within the Support Fostering Scheme. She lives in the east Antrim area and has a background in social work and has fostered for many years. “As a team leader I set up a team to recruit foster carers over ten years ago,” she said.

“During this time the penny dropped that I was one of the many people who talked about children needing families but did nothing about it. As a result I recruited myself and applied to be a foster carer. My advice to anyone interested is: be comfortable with challenge, be prepared to set boundaries; be consistent and help children resolve their many small and bigger difficulties.

“For a child the progress in them taking a small step is in fact a major one in their life. Finally, find time to have fun, laugh and relax as a family and with your own social network.”

People who are recruited to the Support Fostering Scheme need to be committed to the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also need to have the relevant experience, interest and ability, be able to avail of training and support from the Trust and have family arrangements that would allow for full-time commitment.