Tusla has recently published it's Strategic Plan for Foster Care Services 2022-2025. The overall approach of this plan is to improve Alternative Care Services for children and young people who cannot live at home for periods of their lives.
There is currently a reduced number of foster carers available and there are challenges placing children and young people in a stable foster care placement, close to their community and in which their cultural and ethnic needs are met.
Tusla Child and Family Agency and Monaghan Children and Young People’s Services Committee wanted to look at ways to ensure that all children feel like they belong; that children have space to explore their biological family’s culture, language, and traditions, while also giving children an opportunity to explore the culture and traditions of the family with whom they are placed.
Funding was secured from Tusla and from Monaghan Children and Young People’s Services Committee to develop practical and visually appealing resources that would support diversity and inclusion. Three distinct resource packs coverng the Early Years age group, Primary School age group and a Post Primary Years age group with books and toys were developed. Monaghan CYPSC worked with the Tusla Design and Communications team to come up with the clever logo for “Fostering Inclusion”.
So, what is in the packs?
In the Early Years Packs there are three dolls Danny, Cuby, and Poppy. The dolls have been named by children and some chldfen have welcomed the dolls into their home and preschool to generate a story about them. The emphasis is on what makes the dolls similar, rather than what makes them different to their peers. Also included in the packs are a range of books on diversity and inclusion.
The Primary School Pack consists of books and small world figures representing diversity and disability.
The Post Primary Packs contain books on topics such as Disability, LGBT+ Information, Ethnicity, and Gender Bias.
Many thanks to Karen Mc Cague, Monaghan Library on advice on some of the fabulous books; Lifestart in Donegal for gifting their babbling babies’ books for the packs, which include poems and nursey rhymes from around the world; to Jinny Bradley and her Family; the staff, and children at Riverbank Childcare Emyvale; the Tusla Fostering team, the Tusla Prevention Partnership and Family Support team in Cavan and Monaghan and the foster carers who participated in a focus group looking at resources and training needs.
The Fostering Inclusion resource packs were launched as part of Social Inclusion Week and are being distributed to foster carers through their link workers.
Pictured at the Fostering Inclusion launch were Sharon Casey, Tusla Fostering Team Leader, Cavan, Collette Deeney Monaghan CYPSC Co-ordinator, Suzanne Kiernan, Tusla Principal Social Worker, Fostering Cavan Monaghan and Antoinette Brady, Tusla Senior Child and Family Network Co-ordinator.
Read Tusla's Strategic Plan for Foster Care Services 2022-2025
Find out more abot Monaghan CYPSC and Cavan CYPSC
Read more CYPSC News.