This week marks the start of Foster Care Fortnight - the Fostering Network’s campaign to raise the profile of fostering.
There is a current shortage of foster carers in East Dunbartonshire and the council is interested in recruiting carers from every age group, religious or ethnic background to join its expanding team.
Children and young people need foster carers when their parents cannot lookafter them because of family problems or perhaps health difficulties.
Sometimes children need time away from family pressures. Children with disabilities also need respite care to give their families a break and themselves a new experience.
For the vast majority of children in East Dunbartonshire, a foster home can provide the stability and support needed to secure a better future.
At present there is a particular need for foster carers to look after older children.
Councillor Michael O’Donnell said: “There are many myths about who can become a foster carer, but what really matters is that someone has the commitment, skills and ability to look after children and to offer them a stable and secure home.
“Historically it has been difficult to recruit people willing to look after older children and at the moment we have a particular need for carers willing to look after children aged eight and above.
“Foster care can be challenging, but ultimately very rewarding work and carers can make a positive difference to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”
The council is looking for people interested in fostering either full or part time and would welcome enquiries from individuals or couples of all cultures and backgrounds.
To be eligible one adult needs to be at home full time and you will need to have a spare bedroom.
After you become a carer you will receive regular visits by your own Family Placement Social Worker.
There will also be the opportunity to be involved in training and support groups, which all of East Dunbartonshire’s team of carers can participate in.
You will also receive information, advice and support from the child’s own social worker, along with access to support from specialists to advise and support on how best to respond to a child or young person’s needs and behaviour.
An allowance will be paid to you to cover the cost of caring.
For further information please contact the council on 0300 123 4510 and ask to speak to the Care Planning and Placement Team.
They will be happy to discuss foster care and fostering in further detail with you.