Aberdeenshire Council has launched an appeal for potential foster carers to come forward, in a bid to be able to support more children in their local communities.
The council, which currently has around 150 children placed in foster care ranging from newborn babies to young people at university, has been successful in recruiting new foster carers, increasing the number of fostering families to 108 over 2011/12. However, the authority, which currently has around 20 children aged between 8 to 12 years old waiting on a permanent foster placement, is keen to encourage potential new carers to come forward in order to fill the gap.
Figures from the Fostering Network show that a child comes into care and needs a foster family every 22 minutes across the UK. Although some children spend only a short time in foster care, some may need to stay with their foster family until they grow up and can live on their own.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of children’s Services, Bob Driscoll, said that the authority had “a very committed and skilled pool of foster carers who provide excellent care for children ranging from short periods right through to more permanent arrangements.
“In Aberdeenshire our support to foster carers who undertake this vital role is second to none”, he said.
“I encourage individuals or couples from all walks of life to contact our dedicated team who will answer any questions and explain what is involved in helping our young people be all that they can be.
“We would be particularly keen to hear from potential applicants who might be interested in offering permanent fostering for children between 7 to 12 years old.”
Family placement team manager Elaine Dickson said: “We have a good reputation and have worked hard to provide good levels of support and training for our foster carers.
“The two biggest sources of recruitment we find is our website and ‘word of mouth’ where people become interested because they have heard from friends or family members who already foster for Aberdeenshire Council about the quality of the support they receive from the Fostering Service.”
More information on fostering in Aberdeenshire is available from www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/children/fostering/index.asp