Upon receipt of funding from the Dept. of Health & Children in 1997, IFCA was mandated to provide the following services:
- A national spokesperson on foster care
- A regional network
- A national office
- An independent and confidential support service for foster carers
IFCA has 31 local voluntary branches around the country that meet on a regular basis and can provide you with the following benefits
- Meet local foster carer’s and people with an interest in foster care in your area.
- Discuss issues relating to foster care and receive advice on where to seek further assistance in relation to these issues.
- Access high quality peer support which can be in the form of formal support groups, buddy systems to informal coffee mornings etc. Research shows that peer contact is seen as fulfilling a number of important support needs, above and beyond the valuable network of support sometimes provided by supervising social workers, family and friends. Peer contact can serve to counter the sense of isolation that foster carers can experience.
- Have your voice heard and advocated for at Local, Regional and National Level within IFCA and, through IFCA, the relevant decision makers in foster care.
- Receive information on current developments in fostering and IFCA’s role in advocating and campaigning for change.
- Receive information on IFCA’s services, upcoming local/national seminars and training, learning and social events.
- For more information see Branches.
IFCA Volunteer Support Workers provide a professional and high quality support service to compliment the aims and objectives of the organisation and its members. The service is confidential, responsive and personal. All IFCA Support Volunteers will have, at a minimum, completed a Certificate in Counselling & Psychotherapeutic Skills & Practice course.
Other services provided by IFCA include:
- Membership of IFCA
- Legal Expenses Insurance Scheme
- Information on all aspects of foster care
- Training packages, seminars and conferences
- A watching brief on all aspects of childcare law, regulations and reports.
- Books – IFCA has a wide range of books on fostering issues available to purchase.
- A members Newsletter issued 3 times per year.