The Health Service Executive has launched a campaign to encourage more people to become foster parents.

It is estimated that around 4,500 children are currently being cared for by foster families throughout the State, but there is a need for more carers, particularly for children aged between 8 and 18 years.

The campaign – ‘Could You Give A Child A Chance? – was launched in the Mansion House in Dublin today at a reception to honour the country’s foster parents.

Among those attending were Declan and Rose Doran who have fostered 39 children, some for a few days and others for years.

Mrs Doran said she got tremendous satisfaction in looking after her foster children.