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Initiative launched to encourage Offaly travellers to become foster parents

Initiative launched to encourage Offaly travellers to become foster parents

Jim McGuigan, Alternative Care Lead, Tusla; Margaret Lovett, Health Manager, Offaly Traveller movement; Jacqui Smyth, Principal Social Worker, The Regional Area Fostering Team, Dublin Mid-Leinster

Tusla Dublin Mid Leinster fostering, in association with the Offaly Traveller Movement, have launched a new series of information materials aimed at Travellers who might be interested in becoming foster carers. The event took place in the offices of the Offaly Traveller Movement on Harbour St., Tullamore.

The event aimed to recognise the work that went into developing the new materials. Offaly Traveller Movement and TUSLA worked together to create more culturally appropriate material to encourage Travellers to think about becoming foster carers.  The event also aimed to highlight the need for fosters carers from the Travelling Community locally, and also across the country. 

Foster carers make a huge difference to the lives of the children they care for. There is a need for people who can care for children in the short; medium or long-term. There are many myths about who can and cannot foster, but it takes many different types of people to meet the needs of many different children. Tusla is encouraging people from all communities and backgrounds to consider if they could become a foster carer.  There are fostering social workers available to answer any questions an interested person might have on the Freephone number below.

Speaking at the event, Jacqui Smyth, Principal Social Worker in the Regional Area Fostering Team, Dublin Mid-Leinster, Tusla, said: “Working in partnership with the Offaly Traveller Movement to look at how we can better reach out to Travellers who are interested in becoming foster carers has been a rewarding and educating experience.

"I am delighted to have had the opportunity to sit down with the volunteers from the Offaly Traveller Movement and take on board their views and input with regard to recruiting Traveller Foster carers. This campaign is part of a larger effort we are making to engage with Traveller organisations and individuals locally, regionally and nationally, and we are excited continue this work over the coming months.”

Placing a child in foster care is only done when all other options have been explored. 

Anyone who would like to find out more about fostering can call freephone 1800 226 771, email or visit for more details.

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