The Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa MP has formally launched this year’s Fostering Awareness Campaign, to celebrate the success and achievements of fostering in Gibraltar.

The launch was held at the new Family and Community Centre in the Mid-Harbour Estate.

Since October 2015, the local Fostering and Adoption Service has held an annual campaign in line with National Adoption week in the UK, to promote adoption awareness in Gibraltar. These initiatives have also proved successful in the recruitment of foster carers and in raising the public’s awareness of the need for fostering.

The Head of Children Services, Ms Nicole Viagas said she was delighted with how the fostering service has developed over the past two years in Gibraltar. Ms Viagas said: “I am extremely pleased with the number of children now being placed in foster placements, as opposed to residential settings. By providing consistent one-to-one care and support, we have given the children a sense of security and safety, which is undoubtedly contributing to their overall development. The success of the programme is down to an excellent team who have worked diligently to ensure that the service continues to grow and that the foster carers are supported within their role. Of course, none of this would be possible without the wonderfully caring and committed foster parents.

The Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa MP, acknowledged the extraordinary work carried out by the foster carers and congratulated them for their commitment to offer children a home when they most need it. He said: “Children are best cared for in a family environment. It is this principle that drives the Social Work team to ensure that services are developed in line with improving outcomes for children. The Government whole-heartedly supports this annual event, which gives children the best possible opportunity to help them develop and grow into well-adjusted individuals. The Care Agency continues to work diligently to ensure that services are developed to give children the best possible grounding for their future. The commitment shown by foster carers is exemplary and, in my opinion, reflects the best of Gibraltar as a caring, loving and inclusive community.