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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Kibble develops foster care for traumatised kids

This news post is almost 6 years old

A Scottish charity and university have worked together to create a groundbreaking foster care service for seriously traumatised children

A Scottish charity has created a groundbreaking foster care service for children in care who have experienced early trauma and at risk of being moved into children's homes.

Kibble has created Intensive Fostering Services Plus (IFS+), based on analysis of the needs of children who have experienced major trauma in their early years.

The youngsters will receive an intensive package of support while living in foster care in a bid to avoid placement breakdown.

The support will cover many aspects of their daily routines and education during the school day.

The initiative combines the skills of a highly experienced foster carer in the family home alongside experienced residential care home support staff from Kibble – a combination that doesn't currently exist in Scotland.

Kibble worked with the University of Strathclyde to study its existing intensive foster service, and now believes the need for this type of comprehensive placement is better understood.

Kay Gibson, operations manager at Kibble said: "Many of these young people have experienced multiple adverse and extreme experiences in their childhood resulting in their behaviour being difficult to manage in a foster family setting.

"It builds on the services already available from Kibble but also adds an additional, comprehensive offering of support. This enables carers and staff to support the most vulnerable children with complex needs within a foster family as opposed to a residential home."

The initiative is funded by the Scottish Government and European Social Fund and is also receiving support from European Charitable partners, CELCIS and Who Cares Scotland.

There are were 15,000 looked after children in Scotland in 2016, a small decrease of only one per cent from 2015. In July 2017, there were 54 children in residential care under the age of 11 who had been through five or more failed fostering placements.

While foster and kinship care are the most common setting for looked after children, the demand for intensive fostering is also on the rise. IFS+ placements will provide a hybrid between a children's residential care home and a foster family home in the community.

Professor Bernard Harris, head of the school of social work and social policy at the University of Strathclyde, said: "We are delighted to have been able to work with the Kibble Education and Care Centre to improve our understanding of the challenges facing children who have experienced trauma and those who seek to support them."

Kibble is now recruiting experienced foster carers to work on IFS+ placements. It will soon be advertising vacancies for support staff.