Danielle Douglas has designed and facilitated training to young people, foster carers and social workers both at national and international level
Danielle Douglas, a lecturer in Social Care at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), was recently elected President of the International Foster Care Organisation (IFCO). IFCO is an international network dedicated solely to the promotion and support of family based foster care across the world.
As an alumnus of foster care and a relative foster carer, Danielle has dedicated a considerable part of her life to improving alternative care for children. She has been an active member of IFCA, IFCO, Power4Youth and Eurochild, presenting plenaries and workshops at various national and international events. She has designed and facilitated training to young people, foster carers and social workers both at national and international level and she sits on research advisory groups for the Irish Foster Care Association and Tusla, the Child and Family Agency Ireland.
Speaking about her appointment, Danielle says “I consider it an honour and a privilege to be elected as President of the International Foster Care Organisation. I attended my first IFCO Conference ten years ago in Malta and it was certainly a life changing experience for me. I believe and feel passionately that every child is a human ‘being’ and not a human ‘becoming’ and they deserve love, stability and protection now and the best place to provide this is within a family environment. IFCO was the first organisation that I was involved with that shared my values so closely and therefore I have never looked back since.”
Danielle’s appointment marks two firsts in IFCO’s history. She is youngest President ever appointed and she is also the first care experienced President. She continues, “To be voted in on the tenth anniversary of my relationship with IFCO in the place where it all began was an incredibly special moment for me.”
Danielle lives in Waterford but has travelled across the world with her role at IFCO including Australia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, UK, United States, Ukraine, Prague, Malta. She has travelled with her husband and two children, all of whom have contributed at IFCO events and are considered part of the IFCO family.
Danielle completed her Leaving Cert at St Angela's Secondary School in Waterford. Upon completion of a degree in Social Care, she applied for a competitive scholarship from the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and was successful. She holds an MA in Research and is currently conducting a PhD in Child and Youth Studies at University College Dublin and her research interests include resilience, identity, children’s geographies and alternative care systems.