The HSE/South Tipperary Child and Family Agency recently held an Inaugural Foster Care Conference titled ‘The invaluable role of foster carers in the lives of children in care’ in Clonmel.
The author and former Governor of Mountjoy Prison and South Tipperary native John Lonergan and Senior Psychologist at the Galtee Clinic Dr. Toby Haslam Hopwood, addressed the conference at the Clonmel Park Hotel that was being hosted by the HSE/South Tipperary Child and Family Agency.
One of the key aims of the conference was to provide an opportunity for foster carers and social work staff to come together and share the experience of fostering.
Both guest speakers gave the conference a motivational and uplifting presentation and focusing on providing care for children who are unable to be cared for within their family homes. The speakers highlighted the exceptional care provided by foster carers supported by the social work department.
While addressing the conference, Mr Lonergan emphasised the vital care foster carers provide to children in care.
He said: “Fostering encapsulates the traditional basic values of kindness, openness and care. Foster Carers are to be commended, they welcome very vulnerable children into their homes and families.” He also spoke of the lasting value of kindness and the positive impact this can have on these children and their future.
Dr. Toby Haslam-Hopwood during his talk spoke about attachment and the difficulties some children in care experience.
He said: “Foster carers play a very important role, they allow children to experience a safe and loving care environment, so that they have the opportunity in their future to form safe and loving relationships”.
Speaking at the conference, Carmel Martin (Principal Social Worker for South Tipperary) said: “I’m delighted that my colleagues in the HSE/South Tipperary Child and Family Agency had this public opportunity to outline the invaluable role of foster carers. It’s important for us to put on record our thanks to foster carers for their continued commitment and dedication to fostering. The conference was very successful and it is planned that this will become an annual event.”
The HSE/South Tipperary Child and Family Agency are always recruiting new foster carers and welcome any enquires. If fostering is something you feel you would be interested in, please contact any member of the Fostering Team in South Tipperary on (052) 617 7302.