Renewed emphasis on fostering on the Rock
There are currently seven foster families in Gibraltar. This was announced by the Care Agency yesterday at the launch its annual fostering campaign and celebrated the success and achievements of fostering on the Rock.
Before the campaign began over three years ago there were just three foster families on the Rock.
The campaign has resulted in two new-born babies being placed into foster care – a first for the service.
Since October 2015, the local Fostering and Adoption Service has held an annual campaign in line with National Adoption week in the UK, to promote adoption awareness in Gibraltar. These initiatives have also proved successful in the recruitment of foster carers and in raising the public’s awareness of the need for fostering.
This year’s campaign theme is ‘This is me’ has been jointly organised with the Care Agency and the Department of Education, and a short video advert was unveiled yesterday.
“Children have the right to be brought up in loving and caring families,” said the Minister for Health and Care, Neil Costa, at the launch.
“We all agree that the philosophy should be that children, where possible, should be taken care of by loving families. That is why foster parents are so important.”
“The aim of this fostering campaign is to explain what foster parents are, what they do, and how they can help those children who need care.”
Mr Costa added this was an opportunity to celebrate foster parents and to acknowledge the work they do.
Head of Children’s Services Nicole Viagas described how the infants were swiftly placed into the care of their foster parents, with one being transitioned into adoption.
“What a great achievement,” said Ms Viagas.
“This is provides babies the opportunity to form attachments, and will mean being able to provide them with a loving, caring, stable and consistent home.”
Team Manager of fostering and adoption Jennifer Wilson recognised that local families may put off from fostering due Gibraltar being such a small community.
She explained how children at times are not shaped by past experiences and should have a caring home.
Prizes were also handed out to the children who participated in the latest video advert.