Foster carers in Scotland meet with children's minister
A small group of foster carers from across Scotland today met with the children’s minister for Scotland, Aileen Campbell, to discuss a range of issues affecting foster care in Scotland, including the Fostering Links project. Sara Lurie, director of the Fostering Network Scotland and Sarah McEnhill, Fostering Links project manager accompanied the foster carers to the Scottish Parliament.
The Fostering Links project, run by the Fostering Network and funded by the Big Lottery Fund, works across Scotland offering support, training and the opportunity for foster carers and social workers to share experience, learn from each other and enhance the care they offer to children and young people in foster care in Scotland.
Foster carers are empowered to influence developments in foster care as the work of the Fostering Network is guided by the many interactions we have with them. During the last two years through the project, the Fostering Network has engaged with almost 650 individuals, of whom 460 are foster carers (representing almost 390 fostering households in Scotland).
Other items on brought to the attention of the minister by foster carers included the standardisation of foster care allowances, as Scotland is the only country in the UK without a minimum allowance, the professionalisation of foster care, the need for a national register and the long term funding of the much needed services offered by the Fostering Network.
Sara Lurie said of the meeting, “I am delighted that foster carers have been invited to personally speak to the minister about the issues that foster carers face every day. It is vital that this happens and that they can convey the message that the support systems put in place by the Fostering Network are working.”
In addition to today’s meeting, Sara Lurie met with the Education and Culture committee of the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 12 June to provide oral evidence exploring to what level voluntary organisations provide children’s services on behalf of local authorities and public bodies. This followed on from earlier written evidence submitted to the Scottish Parliament on the same topic.