Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is issuing a call for more foster families to come forward, as Foster Care Fortnight 2017 begins across the UK.
According to The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity which runs Foster Care Fortnight, over 7,000 more people with the right skills and experience are needed to offer loving, stable and secure homes to children and young people across the UK.
Many foster carers, who choose to foster children in the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, say how well the fostering team has supported them to develop and evolve their current skillset in order for them to care for children who cannot live with their birth family.
Some children like David need a short term placement.
David aged eight was placed in foster care because of difficulties his mother was experiencing in looking after him at home. When David first arrived in his foster placement he would not go to bed at night as he was scared of the dark. David often experienced nightmares and found it extremely difficult to engage in his learning at school. The foster placement was able to provide a safe and secure home for David and allowed him to rebuild his trust in adults. He trusted his foster carer to care for him and with time and patience David was able to overcome his fear of the dark. He started to enjoy going to school and as he became less anxious he was more able to and engage with his education. While he was in foster care David continued to have contact with his mother. She was able to seek the support she required which enabled her to rebuild her relationship with David. David returned to live with his mother.
Other children need longer term or permanent placements or short breaks.
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: ‘Foster families can transform fostered children’s lives, giving them the chance of having the childhood they deserve, a childhood that they otherwise may not have had. Foster carers are amazing people, performing an invaluable role that really serves the whole community.
‘A wider pool of foster carers enables fostering services to be able to match the needs of each child more closely with the skills that each foster carer brings, and to find the right home for each child, first time. That’s why we are urging people in Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to get in touch with their fostering service today’.
You can contact the local fostering team on 01851 822748 or 01870604880 - they are waiting to hear from you.