Former Barnardo’s assistant director joins leading fostering charity
Margaret Kelly will be spearheading the Fostering Network’s work in Northern Ireland after joining the charity as its new country director following 12 years at Barnardo’s, where she was most recently assistant director.
Margaret brings extensive experience to her new role having worked for children's and family charities in Northern Ireland for the last 20 years. She has taken up the post this week and joins the team at an exciting and challenging time.
Next month, Margaret will be leading the Northern Ireland team during Foster Care Fortnight, which runs from the 14-27 May. Through the campaign the team will be encouraging more people to come forward to foster given the urgent need to recruit an additional 100 foster carers to provide children in care with long term stable homes.
Margaret will also be taking charge of the pioneering Fostering Achievement scheme, which was recently given five more years funding by the Northern Ireland Government. The successful scheme has already contributed to significant improvements in the literacy and numeracy skills of children in care.
And through the Fostering Network’s Together for Change campaign the Northern Ireland team will continue to push for the changes needed to make foster care better for every fostered child and foster family. With nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of all children in care in Northern Ireland living with foster families, a ten per cent rise over the last 12 months, it is more essential than ever before that they receive the financial and practical support that they need.
Commenting on her new role, Margaret said: “I am already very aware of the issues facing the care system in Northern Ireland. My experience plus the enthusiasm and dedication of my team here at the Fostering Network means that we can keep pushing for better outcomes for foster carers and children in care.
"Given the rise in children coming into care fostering has never been more important. I look forward to the challenges of this new role and working with foster carers and the children they look after to ensure their voice is heard.
Margaret continued: “I want to work with the health and social care trusts and the independent providers of foster care to ensure we are focused on improving foster care, supporting foster carers and striving for the very best for the children and young people that they look after."
Notes to editors
- For media enquiries contact the Fostering Network press office on 020 7620 6425 and firstname.lastname@example.org
- To find out more about becoming a foster carer, visit www.couldyoufoster.org.uk
- The Fostering Network is the UK's leading charity for all those involved in fostering. It exists to make life better for fostered children and those who care for them.