East Lothian Council has launched a drive for more foster carers to come forward to support children and young people in the county.
Our foster carers do an amazing job providing love and stability and we know that they also feel they benefit from the role and opening their homes.
Each year in East Lothian, the council must find foster placements for children and young people aged 0 – 21 years old. The Fostering Team is keen to recruit East Lothian residents to become foster carers so that there are enough homes to keep children and young people within their local communities. This helps to maintain friendships, school, social and family links, providing vital stability at an uncertain time.
As part of its Autumn recruitment drive, the council’s website has been updated and refreshed to share experiences and interviews from foster carers and those who have experienced foster care. This will give anyone considering this worthwhile move a valuable insight into what it means to be a foster carer and the difference it can make. An enhanced social media presence over the two-week campaign window will reach more people online, while lamp-post wraps placed around the county will be complemented by press advertising to encourage people to come forward to learn more.
There are many reasons a child or young person can need foster care from a temporary placement while a family member is unavailable to a longer-term arrangement. Foster carers provide compassion, kindness and love to a child or young person at a point where it is most needed. Foster carers come from a variety of backgrounds and bring different skills and perspectives to the role. Relationship or employment status, house type or tenure are not barriers to becoming a foster carer. The team looks for people with the necessary attitude, the ability to provide structure and build positive relationships, and the desire to provide children and young people with a safe space to learn, grow and heal.
Foster carers benefit from a supportive network designed to help them succeed in their role and benefit from it. Alongside payment and extensive, ongoing training, foster carers have the opportunity to network with, and learn from, each other. This provides the tools and reassurance to carry out this important role.
Cabinet member for Education and Children’s Services Councillor Shamin Akhtar said: “There are so many reasons why a child or young people may need foster care. When that happens we want to make sure there are enough foster carers right here in East Lothian so that those placements can happen within our area. This lessens the disruption for the children and young people and lets them know that they are cared for and valued by our whole community.
“Our foster carers do an amazing job providing love and stability and we know that they also feel they benefit from the role and opening their homes. There can be challenges but there are also incredible experiences making a difference in the lives of others.
“Our Fostering Team are committed to helping people to succeed in the role and our wider fostering family plays a big part in this. Our team are on hand throughout the process from the initial enquiry to first foster placement and beyond.
“I hope that people will be inspired by hearing the experiences of our foster carers and will consider this worthwhile role for themselves.”
To find out more about fostering online at www.eastlothian.gov.uk/fostering or call 01620 827 643.