Fostering in Northern Ireland

We have over 35 years' professional experience of recruiting and supporting foster carers and looked after children in Northern Ireland.

Safe and loving foster care is crucial to giving children the happy childhood they desperately need. By fostering, you can help to ensure that vulnerable children in Northern Ireland are supported to thrive.

You can make a huge difference to a child’s life by fostering, and with Barnardo's training and support you won't have to do it alone.

“I used to smile with my mouth but I didn’t have happy eyes until I lived here.” – Rebecca, foster child

Hear from some of our foster carers in Northern Ireland

Fostering in Northern Ireland

We’re particularly interested in hearing from people in the following areas:

  • Antrim
  • Armagh
  • Down
  • Fermanagh
  • Londonderry
  • Tyrone

Types of foster placements

As a foster carer, you could offer:

  • emergency placements,
  • planned short breaks,
  • long term placements.

Children in need of fostering

Siblings groups

1 in 3 children are separated from their siblings when placed in foster care. If you can foster sibling groups, we will support them, stand up for them and help you to bring out the best in each and every child.

Children with challenging behaviours

Some of the children in care in Northern Ireland have experienced abuse. Every child copes differently with past traumas, so we need foster carers who are willing to understand and work through demanding behaviours, giving vulnerable children the support they deserve.

Children with physical and/or learning disabilities

Fostering a child with a physical or learning disability can be highly rewarding and give you both opportunities to grow.


Many of the young people in care in Northern Ireland are teenagers – both boys and girls. We need foster carers who are trustworthy and willing to help young people learn practical skills for their everyday lives. You can make a huge difference to a child’s life and help them achieve their full potential.

“It is the hardest job in the world but it is the best job in the world.” – Jane, foster carer

Contact Barnardo’s Northern Ireland Fostering Service team

Barnardo’s Northern Ireland Fostering Service  
230b Belmont Road

Telephone: 028 9065 2288
Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

By choosing to become a foster carer you can make a huge difference to a child’s life – and yours.