Cheque for Grammar’s Charity of the Year

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Sinn Féin Councillor James McKeown has called for action to deal with the increased demand for foster homes.

The Coast Road representative spoke out after meeting the Chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee Maeve McLaughlin, who is the MLA for Foyle.

Ms McLaughlin stated: “Clearly from the RQIA report demand is outstretching the availablity of services. There needs to be a strategy for dealing with this increased demand, and investment should be allocated appropriately.

“There is also the case of kinship care when relatives are looking after young children. The carers in these informal arrangements need some level of support from the state whether it be financial or otherwise.

“Young people that end up in the fostering services can be very vulnerable and it is crucial that we have the capability to make sure that they get the care they need and are entitled to. We also discussed at length the lag of health support available for those in the coastal and rural areas. Although there are people out there such as carers and homehelps who are providing a great service, I would argue that they are greatly under resourced. We need to direct more money and training into this work.”