Minister Lenihan Highlights The Benefits of Fostering
“Foster carers recommend fostering as a life choice that not only makes an important contribution to the lives of the children that they care for, but which also enriches their own lives as foster parents” the Minister for Children, Brian Lenihan said.
Speaking today (Friday 04th April) at the launch of Counting on Foster Care, a major new research document on foster care services in the Eastern Region, Minister Lenihan stated that: “the conclusions drawn in this research will greatly assist all those who are involved in foster care to develop the service that they provide and to ensure that foster carers and, by extension, the children in their care, will be better served by the agencies that support them.”
The study launched by the Minister was conducted over an 18 month period in the Eastern region and provides a broad range of information on existing foster carers and the impact of fostering on the carers´ family life. “Many of the findings of the study will act as very positive incentives for people who are considering undertaking fostering” the Minister said.
There are over 4,100 children in foster care nationally representing 91% of children in the care of the health boards. The Government is committed to the continued implementation of the Report of the Working Group on Foster Care, 2001 which makes recommendations on the development and support of foster care services.
Minister Lenihan thanked the Northern Area Health Board, the Children´s Research Centre and the participating foster carers for their contributions to Counting on Foster Care. He paid particular tribute to Ms. Mary Meyler on whose research the document is based, for her experience and expertise that, the Minister concluded, “have combined to produce research of the highest quality that will provide an invaluable source of planning information in the years ahead.”