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Belfast Trust Foster Carers recognised at awards

23rd May 2018

Foster Carer of the Year awardsBelfast Trust foster carers were amongst those recognised at the Foster Carer of the Year Awards which were held in the Hilton Hotel, Belfast as part of Foster Care Fortnight 2018.

This annual campaign celebrates the contribution of the fantastic work of more than 2000 foster and kinship foster families in Northern Ireland as well as shining a spotlight on the ongoing shortage of foster carers throughout the region.

Belfast Trust foster carers Jill and Sean Kearney who have been fostering for more than 20 years were awarded Foster Carers of Distinction, whilst single carer Frances Lavery also received a Foster Carer of Distinction Award in recognition of her care for very young children who are moving to adoptive placements.

Kinship foster carers Liz Courtney and Francis Doyle were both awarded Kinship Foster Carers of Distinction, while young couple Patrick Sojka and Chelsea Noble were awarded overall Kinship Foster Carers of the Year. Patrick and Chelsea, who are both in their early 20s, are kinship carers for Chelsea’s younger sister who has complex health care needs. Speaking at the awards ceremony, The Fostering Network Director, Kathleen Toner, stated that ‘the awards panel were quite simply humbled by their positive attitude, their total commitment to Chelsea’s sister and their love for her’.

Una Carragher, Manager of the Regional Adoption and Fostering Service, stated, ‘Northern Ireland continues to need more people to consider fostering. Increased numbers of foster carers will allow fostering services to better meet the needs of a particular child and have a better chance of finding the right home for each child, first time’.

If you are patient, flexible and resilient, and have the time and energy to care for a baby, child or young person then we would be interested in hearing from you. There are many myths surrounding foster care – don’t rule yourself out, talk to us. We would be delighted to answer any questions you may have. Phone 028 9504 0057 or visit