Children’s Minister Clare Haughey is encouraging more people to consider fostering.
Currently, around 500 additional foster families are required to provide stable and nurturing homes for children who cannot be looked after at home.
Ms Haughey said:
“Fostering is an amazing experience. I know this because I grew up in a family that fostered and fully appreciate the positive benefits of what a loving fostering environment can do to improve the lives of children and young people.
“All children are different, and we are looking for new foster carers from a variety of backgrounds and with different life experiences, skills and qualities to help meet the needs of our young people.
“I know that deciding to foster is a big step, and I am asking people to consider carefully whether they could provide the love and stability that some of our children and young people need.”
Iain Wilson, who, with wife Anita, has been a foster carer for 22 years, said:
“Fostering is part of our lives and our birth children’s lives. It’s not always easy, but there are so many kids out there who need a home and an adult who will be there for them and commit to them.
“Fostering is certainly not a one size fits all, but when you’re sure of your reasons for wanting to foster and have the facilities to be able to, why wouldn’t you? It’s about giving young people the time, space, and ability to blossom into the people they want to become.”
Ms Haughey has written an open letter to encourage more people to consider fostering.
Further information on fostering can be found on local authority websites or The Fostering Network’s website.
Around a third of children in Scotland who are unable to live at home are cared for in fostering families. Some need care for a short time, some need regular periods of care and some need to be fostered throughout their childhood.
Around 4467 children and young people were placed in foster care in 2021.