The Irish Foster Care Association National Conference brings together all those with an interest in foster care - including general and relative foster carers, health and social care practitioners, youth workers, academics, students, teachers, policy makers, members of the community and voluntary sector – to learn together, engage in dialogue, share their experiences and best practice.
This year, the National Conference will take place from 23 to 25 October 2015 at the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, Co Donegal.
The theme of the Conference will be: Fostering wellbeing – together we can make a difference.
The theme was chosen based on the high level of interest in the areas of mental health and well-being expressed by participants at IFCA’s 2014 Conference.
Mental health is described by the World Health Organisation as:
‘a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to her or his community’. It also describes health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.
We know that we need the knowledge and skills to support and empower children and young people in care to be well and fulfil their potential. We know that the role of foster care may be highly rewarding but may also involve many extraordinary challenges that may impact on our well-being. We know that, for those of us who are health and social care professionals, we may struggle to maintain our own wellbeing, sometimes resulting in burnout. We also know that those of us involved in caring roles may often find it challenging to practice self-care to sustain our well-being. This conference will seek to provide a space to explore the idea of well-being from many perspectives.