Patricia Gray: ‘I have fostered more than 60 children

Patricia Gray has raised more than 60 children in Northern Ireland over the past 14 years.

Her family lives just outside of Draperstown, County Londonderry.

She said: “We have four children of our own, when they went to school I wanted to be able to help other children.

“We accepted every child that came through our door as our own.”

Figures show that more children have been cared for since the pandemic.

Over 8,600 new foster families will be needed across the UK in 2021, and Northern Ireland has increased the number of children in care by 4.8% since the pandemic.

According to the director of the Fostering Network NI, fewer people are signing up to offer nursing homes.

Kathleen Toner said, “Often times, people think twice about promoting something before getting in touch.”

“Families were under pressure before the pandemic, and they may have put the prospect of funding on hold last year.

“So we really need people to come forward to promote.”

Video journalist: Niall McCracken


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