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11 September 2017

Survey Reveals 82 Per Cent of People in Northern Ireland Wouldn

As a new survey reveals 82 per cent of adults here are unlikely to ever become a foster carer, throughout September Action for Children Northern Ireland are running the #myspareroom campaign to encourage more people to find out about fostering

There is a myth that only certain people can foster:

Foster carers can be married, co-habiting, in a same sex relationship or single.

There are over 2200 children in care in Northern Ireland, with 80 per cent living in foster placements. The number of children in care has been increasing since 2006.

Action For Children Northern Ireland have revealed an urgent need for carers to step forward as a survey by the leading charity revealed 82 per cent of adults 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 Action For Children’s ‘Spare Room’ programme - #myspareroom

The survey revealed half of adults questioned have a spare room (55%), but of those 42 per cent use them for storage and 6 per cent 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 are 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.

“All kinds of people can foster. You have to be over 21, have a spare room, the ability to work with children and have the time in your life to give. So please give our friendly fostering team a call.”

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer or would like to find out more, please contact Action for Children’s fostering team on Tel: 028 9046 0500 or email

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