Plea for foster carers

CHILDREN’S charity, Barnado’s Scotland, needs people to foster older, vulnerable children and groups of siblings.

Their appeal comes during Foster Care Fortnight, which runs until Sunday, May 27.

At least 1,000 new foster families need to be found in Scotland in the next 12 months.

Stephanie Stone, assistant director for fostering and adoption for Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “There is considerable focus on placing younger children but older children and siblings who need to be placed together are being forgotten.

“Foster carers come from all walks of life - you don’t have to come from a childcare profession although it definitely helps if you’ve had experience with children. The main qualities you need are patience and a caring nature.”

Barnardo’s has a detailed matching process and provides ongoing support to carers including a series of parenting courses to prepare and equip them with the skills to deal with children with a range of needs.

Stephanie added: “We want to encourage people who may never have considered fostering to think about what they have to offer. It is a major step, it can be hard work and very demanding, but the rewards can be immense. We are particularly keen to hear from people who might be able to look after children and young people with physical or learning disabilities and siblings, as these are the ones who we find hardest to place.”

Generous fees and allowances are available in return, for more information call 0845 894 9501 or visit www.barnardos.org.uk/fosteringandadoption