Angus Council is supporting a national campaign to encourage more people to consider fostering. During Foster Care Fortnight, which started on May 14 and will run to May 27, Angus residents are asked to think about fostering and to find out more about what this would involve.
The number of children who need foster carers continues to rise. The Fostering Network, a national organisation promoting foster care, estimates that in Scotland alone, an additional 500 foster placements are needed for children and young people. Across the UK, every 22 minutes a child comes into care and needs a foster family. Whilst fostering services across the country continue to make progress, there is still the need to find more carers.
In a concerted drive to find more foster carers, the local authority has recently established a Focus on Fostering project – a year long initiative aimed at raising the profile of fostering and the opportunities it offers both for children and for carers.
A range of activities is being carried out during the fortnight, including a bus poster campaign, Radio Tay interviews with carers, and the opportunity for interested individuals to find out more by visiting www.myjobscotland.gov.uk and www.fosteringandadoption.angus.gov.uk or by calling 01241 435078.
A key message of the campaign is that fostering is open to people from all walks of life: couples who are married or unmarried, same sex couples, single people, those with or without children of their own, employed or on benefits. There is a lower age limit of 18, but no upper age limit for fostering. The council is looking for people who understand the needs of vulnerable children and who relish the challenge of helping and supporting children who have been through difficult experiences.
Councillor Glennis Middleton, Angus Council Convener of Social Work and Health, said: “Fostering children is rewarding, funny and frustrating. It can be a wonderful experience for the foster family and indeed for the children concerned. I hope that as a result of the improvements made within the system, those families who might have thought it would be difficult financially to foster will think again and come forward in the knowledge that the changes made will enable them to take the next step.”