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IFCO Pat Whelan Youth Fund & Conference information

Conference information

IFCO holds bi-annual regional and international conferences at various locations around the world where we encourage everyone to get involved and have their input into foster care and how they feel about it. 

As a child or a young person in foster care, we appreciate that you understand foster care in a unique way and can make a real contribution to our mission of making sure every child has a family. It is important to us to listen to the voice of every child or young person in foster care and we encourage all children and young people with care experience to attend our conferences and meet other foster youth and decision makers for change and support. If you register for a conference, it is always cheaper if you are a member of IFCO. Visit our Membership page for more information.


IFCO Pat Whelan Youth Fund

Through annual IFCO Pat Whelan Youth Fund Award, we aim to support youth in- and from care so that they can meet and learn from each other, advocate on behalf of care leavers at the international level and be globally heard.

The IFCO Pat Whelan Youth Fund was founded in 2007 in memory of IFCO member and former volunteer Administration Secretary Pat Whelan from Ireland. The aim of the fund is to support a young person (or group of youth) to attend and participate in IFCO conferences and events, who may otherwise be unable to do so. Since 2007, through individual and corporate donations, youth in care and care leavers from various parts of the world have been able to meet other youth, adults and decision makers at International Foster Care Organisation conferences held at both international and European levels.

Criteria for applying:

  • All applicants must hold current Youth Membership of the International Foster Care Organisation. If you are not a current member of IFCO youth you may apply for this online
  • All applicants must be between 14 and 28 years of age
  • Applicants must have a formal care experience
  • Awarded applicants are sponsored by the IFCO Pat Whelan Youth Fund on no more than one occasion in a three-year period
  • Applicants must submit a personal piece answering: What value will attending an IFCO conference add to you, your life and your community?

For more details for each annual call please follow the announcements through IFCO email communication, website, Facebook or Twitter pages. Calls are usually announced around the time preceding the next international or regional conference.

If you have any questions, comments or queries, please contact We also welcome donations to the IFCO Pat Whelan Youth Fund through our page on GlobalGiving.

Our new website will be ready early in 2019. In the meantime you can still join, connect, learn and share at the current IFCO website. Don’t forget that you can also hang out with us on Facebook (link?) or keep up to date via Twitter (link?) 2629746000