Urgent need for foster cares in Ballymena, says charity

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Action For Children Northern Ireland has revealed an urgent need for carers to step forward in Ballymena with 91 per cent of adults surveyed saying they wouldn’t consider the opportunity to foster.

“This alarming statistic reveals the scale of the problem and that we need foster carers to come forward now,” said Avery Bowser, Children’s Services manager in Northern Ireland.

“All over the country we have children and young people who desperately need the stability that a foster carer can give them. We’re faced with a big misconception that only certain people from certain backgrounds can foster.”

Over 4,000 people were polled across the country as part of the charity’s ‘Spare Room’ programme - #myspareroom

The survey revealed 66% of adults questioned in Ballymena and Antrim have a spare room but of those 39% use them for storage and 11% are left empty. Only a tiny minority would consider using that spare room to make a life changing difference for a child in need.

This month Action for Children Northern Ireland is undertaking a new drive to recruit more foster carers.

Avery explained: “We need people from all walks of life. Our foster carers need to be diverse because our children are all different.

“There’s a myth that only certain people can foster. We want to hear from people who can provide warm, stable homes irrespective of sexuality, marital status or community background.”

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer or would like to find out more, contact Action for Children’s fostering team on 028 90460500 or email fostercareni@actionforchildren.org.uk