Foster carers needed for Scottish teenagers
There is an urgent need for more foster carers for teenagers across Scotland, new research from the Fostering Network has found.
The survey, published at the start of Foster Care Fortnight, shows that half (50 per cent) of Scottish fostering services are desperately seeking foster carers to make sure that teenagers can be found the homes they need. And the situation is getting worse; all 16 fostering services responding to the survey were looking for more foster families for teenagers than last year.
By being placed with the right foster carers, teenagers have the opportunity to continue with their education, the stability to thrive and a family that can give them the love and support that they need.
Across the UK, a child comes into care and needs a foster family every 22 minutes. The Fostering Network estimates that an extra 1,000 foster families are needed in Scotland in 2012 alone.
Sara Lurie, director of the Fostering Network Scotland, said: “Some teenagers in care have faced trauma beyond what can be comprehended by most of us. This means that skilled foster carers are urgently needed to help them overcome their trauma, and to help them develop their self-esteem and expectations so that they can achieve their full potential.”
In addition to the shortage of foster carers for teenagers, fostering services identified a growing need for foster carers who can specialise in caring for sibling groups (81 per cent) and children with disabilities (44 per cent).
Sara continued: “Fostering services throughout Scotland are working hard to recruit foster carers with the right skills so that each child who needs it can have the support they need and deserve.”
Sarah Godfrey, who has been a foster carer for 17 years, said: “Fostering teenagers can be a challenge at times but it is amazing to watch them develop and gain confidence through the support and stability that I give them. Too often they have never had that sort of care before and it really does make a difference.
“One of the most satisfying things for me is watching the children I foster come out of their teenage years and into adulthood, I feel so proud seeing them turn into such great young adults.”
To find out more about fostering and to explore foster carer films and blogs, visit www.22minutes.org.uk
For more information contact the Fostering Network press office on 020 7620 6425 or email email@example.com
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Notes to editors
1. The Fostering Network’s new research was based on responses from 16 Scottish fostering services during May 2012. Fostering services were asked to identify the types of children for whom they require more foster carers than last year, and to specify the group for which the need is greatest.
2. To encourage more people to become foster carers the Fostering Network has launched the 22 Minutes campaign. For more information visit www.22minutes.org.uk
3. On any one day there are more than 5,000 children living with 3,300 foster families in Scotland.
4. A child comes into care and needs a foster family every six hours in Scotland.
5. Foster Care Fortnight, the Fostering Network’s annual campaign to raise awareness of fostering and the need for more foster carers, runs from Monday 14 to Sunday 27 May 2012. Download our campaign press pack.
6. The Fostering Network is the UK’s leading charity for all those involved in foster care. It exists to make life better for fostered children and the families that care for them.