Northern Ireland

We’re looking for warm, caring people who want to make a difference to a child’s life in Northern Ireland.

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Our fostering service in Northern Ireland provides foster homes for children and young people aged 0 to 18 years for varying periods of time – from just one day to a lifetime.

Foster carers come from all walks of life. To foster, you will need:

  • To be at least 21.
  • Need a spare room for a child.
  • Have to be good with children and have time to give.

We offer foster homes to children and young people of all ages – from the very young to teenagers. We often need to find homes for children with disabilities.

Many of the children who need a foster home have brothers or sisters. We look for foster carers with more than one spare room to help keep siblings together. This is really important to give children a sense of stability.

We’ll talk to you about the type of fostering available, taking your preferences and skills into account. As a charity, our priority is getting it right for children and young people.

In Northern Ireland we work very closely with the Health and Social Trusts and other fostering agencies.

We recruit foster parents throughout Northern Ireland and cover the full range of foster care services.

Types of fostering in Northern Ireland

This could last for many years and into adulthood.

Action for Children Fostering will be with you all the way, supporting you emotionally, financially and with regular training. We offer 24/7, year-round support with a dedicated, qualified social worker.

Many of our foster carers give children a long term home until they’re ready to live on their own.

Some young people stay with their foster family into adulthood, whether they study or work. This is what we call “staying put”. We want children to feel part of a family.

This could last for days, weeks or months.

We will support you with all the training you need and will put you in touch with other foster carers with a view to forming relationships and gaining access to the “experts”. Some foster carers specialise in short term fostering only.

We recognise that, even in the short term, attachments can be made. It may be difficult for short term foster carers to have many young people come and go from their lives in a short space of time.

We celebrate the amazing work all of our foster carers do and we will be there for you if you need some emotional support.

Our extensive, tailored training programme will provide short term carers with the skills they need to help their young people settle in and feel cared for straight away.

Planned breaks carers play a vital role in supporting full-time foster carers and young people.

Providing cover during holidays and weekends gives full-time carers the chance to recharge their batteries and enables children to have new experiences. You will get to know different young people, so if you're good at building relationships, this could be for you! It would involve you looking after a child or young person for a few days, usually on a regular basis.

It’s also a great way for people considering fostering to get hands-on experience before committing fully.

You would still be provided with the same high level of support, training and resources as all of our other foster carers.

Typically lasting around three months, this type of fostering involves safeguarding and supporting babies and young children whose parents are unable to safely care for them without help.

The parent(s), who can be teenagers or adults ranging from 18 to 40+, live with you during this time, and care for the child under your observation and with your help.

This is a very different role from other types of fostering and is offered in only some of our services.

You receive additional training and support. Our current specialist carers have told us it can be extremely rewarding.

We’d be happy to talk to you if you wish to explore this further.

Some of the children we look after have a disability. Foster carers supporting disabled young people are given specialist training to best meet their needs.

You receive additional training and support. Our current specialist carers have told us it can be extremely rewarding.

We’d be happy to talk to you if you wish to explore this further.

Who we're looking for

Foster parents come from all walks of life. To foster, you will need to be at least 21 and have a spare bedroom.

You’ll have to be compassionate, understanding and good with children. We’re looking for people who have time to give to a child who may have experienced difficulties in their life.

Support and training

With Action for Children Fostering, Northern Ireland, you'll receive professional support, training and guidance throughout your fostering journey. We take care of you so you can take care of your young person.

Here in Northern Ireland we work very closely with the local authority and other fostering agencies.

We dedicate time and resources to provide the emotional and professional support each child and family needs and ensure that a dedicated member of the team is only a phone call away any time of the day or night.

Service details

Service Name:

Fostering in Northern Ireland

Service Type:



028 9046 0500


[email protected]

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