Current economic crisis is making matters worse
Barnardo’s Scotland has issued a fresh appeal for new foster carers.
The charity says the country faces a shortfall of at least 500 foster families.
Martin Crewe, director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said that although the number of children going into care in Scotland is decreasing, there continues to be a shortage of foster carers, leaving hundreds of children without a safe and loving home.
He said: “No child should suffer as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, and we strongly believe that any loving person can make a wonderful foster parent to a child in need. We offer support and training every step of the way and, on average, a payment of £495 per week, per child is available.”
Carol Jean McInnes, 60, who lives in Cumnock, in East Ayrshire, found her way into becoming a foster carer after retiring as a mental health nurse.
During her career, she had nursed many individuals who had experienced childhood trauma and had been in the care system.
Carol felt that most had not had a positive experience, so she was keen to make a difference, as she explains: “I chose to be a foster carer because I wanted to make a difference to a child’s life and give them lots of positive experiences. I find fostering hugely rewarding. To see a child come to you with low self-esteem and then blossom into a confident young teenager is just priceless.
“I chose to be a foster carer with Barnardo’s as they had been going for years and always got a good name, and I would encourage anyone who has a big heart and a spare bedroom to consider fostering. You are giving a child an amazing gift of security, self-worth and belonging, and the positives far outweigh any negatives in my experience.”
Crewe added: “At Barnardo’s Scotland, we are committed to keeping The Promise to care-experienced young people and to ensure every child in Scotland grows up safe, loved and respected. That is why we are calling on people to consider joining Barnardo’s Scotland as a foster carer. We have more than 80 years of experience of successfully placing children and young people with families, and there are many benefits of being a carer with us.
“For example, you will be supported with a thorough child and carer matching process, as well as out-of-hours advice and a support line service provided by our social work team. There are regular support groups and family social events, held to enable carers to meet our team and other local carers, along with a high level of professional training and development, relevant to each specific young person placed.”