HSC NI Foster Carers retire after 50 years of giving Children a Brighter Future

A special recognition event hosted by HSC NI Foster Care in the Northern area celebrates three local foster care families who have dedicated a combined service of 50 years to making a real difference to children and young people’s lives.

Recognised at the event, Yvonne Strange and her late husband Tommy began fostering in 1985, dedicating over 37 years to supporting foster children.

For nearly four decades, the local couple provided a safe, loving and supportive home to over 90 children through short breaks, short term & long term stays, adoption and residence orders.

Yvonne shared her experience, “Anyone can foster as long as you give love and commitment to a child in your home. The children only ever needed me to love and nourish them, they are only looking for someone to help them along and to share family moments with them. I have loved them coming into our home over the years.”

In 2019, Yvonne was awarded a BME for her outstanding service and significant impact to the community through fostering and in more recent years has been a great support to mothers in the community who needed a little bit extra guidance and support.

Also acknowledged for their service to fostering, Ruth and John Quinn from Whitehead have been fostering since 2013. Ruth said, “It can take a while to get through the fostering process but we would encourage anyone to stick with it as it has exceeded our expectations – it is extremely rewarding and worthwhile watching children grow and develop into more confident happy people by giving them love, care and attention.”

Currently over 2,800 children and young people in Northern Ireland rely on foster care, however there is a real need for more foster carers. HSC NI Foster Care need more people to come forward to offer a safe and nurturing home where children can develop, thrive and reach their potential.

When we don’t have enough foster carers children and young people often have to travel significant distances to school, and even have to move outside their local community, away from their school, family and friends, and miss out on enjoying their hobbies and interests.

Could you offer a child a brighter future?

There is no such thing as a typical foster carer, HSC NI Foster Care accept applications from people from all backgrounds regardless of marital, employment or home ownership status, or whether you are a parent or not.

Enquiries are considered from people from any race, religion, language, culture, gender, disability, age or sexual orientation. As a foster carer, you will receive comprehensive training, financial allowances and ongoing social work support.

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, or just want to find out more about what is involved, call HSC NI Foster Care on 0800 0720 137 or visit adoptionandfostercare.hscni.net to find out more.

11th October 2022

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