Support foster carers to help children in care in Scotland do better at school
The Fostering Network Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government and fostering services to ensure foster carers are fully supported to help the children in their care succeed in education.
The call follows a new report published today by the Scottish Parliament Education Committee, which says there is now an “unacceptably wide” gap in school achievements between children in care and the general population and that the system needs to be improved.
During the inquiry which led to today’s report, the Fostering Network Scotland gave evidence which highlighted how foster carers help children in care to do better at school, especially when placements are well matched and the right support is in place.
Children who get the right foster home earlier in life generally have better attendance at school and go on to achieve more academic qualifications than those in other forms of care.
Commenting on the report, Sara Lurie, director of the Fostering Network Scotland, said: “We agree the educational achievements of children in care remain poor compared to the general population, and this cannot continue.
“All the evidence shows that when children have a stable foster placement and their foster carer is properly supported they are more likely to do well at school and go on to achieve their potential.
“To improve the educational attainment of children in care, foster carers must be central to any plan to improve the system. As the first educators of the children in their care, foster carers can make a huge difference. The Government and fostering services should give them all the help and support they need.
“There also needs to be enough foster carers to ensure children can get the right foster home for them. With at least 1,000 more foster carers needed this year alone recruitment has to be a priority in order to attract more people into fostering.”