Fostering First Ireland (FFI) are thrilled at achieving the Investing in Children Membership Award™!
Investing in Children (IiC) is an initiative that promotes the human rights of children and young people. Over the last 21 years, IiC has developed a range of different ways in which children and young people are supported to say what they want to say, and help to improve services used by them, by discussing their ideas with the adults who run the services.
In 2019 Fostering First began the process of applying for the Investing in Children Membership Award for our young people’s forum.
The forum was established in 2018 and the young people choose to call it Chatter Matters. The name of the group reflects the purpose of the forum, which is to offer young people in foster care with FFI a space to be heard, listened to and to have their views acted upon in relation to the service that FFI provides. The young people have worked on various projects as part of Chatter Matters, including the development of an advice booklet for foster carers called “From Me To You’’, the development of FFI’s Independence Retreat for young people aged 16+, and the establishment of FFI’s first Young People’s Interview Panel.
The Investing in Children Membership Award evaluation report, which was based on evidence heard directly from the young people, concluded:
“It is evident that the staff of Fostering First Ireland are committed to the process of supporting young people to have a voice in the group they are involved in and the service they are receiving. When we asked the young people whether Fostering First Ireland, deserved an award for listening to the young people of Chatter Matters they said YES!”
FFI Children’s Officer Aideen O’Brien said “We are delighted to be recognised for listening to and involving young people in our work. Achieving this award with the endorsement of the young people themselves is fantastic, and we thank the amazing young people of Chatter Matters, who we have had the privilege of working with, for sharing their time, views, suggestions and opinions with us.”
Director Marie Faughey added, “FFI is an organisation that exists to promote positive outcomes for young people. We are honoured and very grateful to accept this award as it is an acknowledgement of how we live that ethos by putting young people at the heart of everything that we do. I would like to thank and acknowledge the amazing young people who work with us on our participation programme and without whom this award would not have been possible, our supportive and caring staff team and the fantastic foster carers who are the backbone of FFI.”
About Fostering First Ireland (FFI)
Fostering First Ireland is an independent fostering agency that recruits, trains, assesses and supports foster carers. FFI’s carers provide high quality, compliant, well matched foster placements to children and young people in the care of the Tusla. FFI was established in May 2005 and since then has gone on to provide foster placements to over 500 children and young people with over 200 foster carers.
About Investing In Children (IiC)
The Investing in Children Membership Award™ Scheme recognises and celebrates examples of imaginative and inclusive practice with children and young people. Organisations applying for the award have to demonstrate dialogue with young people which leads to change. However, children and young people have to provide the evidence for the organisation and endorse the membership report because it is a children’s and young people’s award. There are currently over 500 members across the UK and Ireland.
For more information go to: www.investinginchildren.net
For more information on Fostering First go to: www.ffi.ie