Who needs fostering?
There are many children and young people who need fostering in Scotland. According to the Care Inspectorate Fostering & Adoption 2021-2022 – A statistical bulletin at the end of 2021 there were 4,344 children and young people using fostering services. Unfortunately, there were more children coming into foster care than there were foster care households in 29 of the 32 local authority services. By the end of 2021 there were 3,415 foster care households spread over 57 fostering services across Scotland. In 2021 alone 405 foster care households de-registered which means that they the household no longer fosters. This can be for a number of reasons, including retirement or ill health.
The end result can often be that children and young people need to wait before they can be placed with a foster family who will care for them as part of their family at a time when they feel very vulnerable. Could you help make a difference and give a child or young person who cannot be cared for by their birth parents or care givers a safe and loving home on a short term, long term or short break (also known as respite foster care) basis?
What age groups need fostering?
Children of all ages need fostering, from birth right up to eighteen years old. However, there are more children aged 11-15 looking for foster carers and it can be harder to find foster homes for older children and young people. That’s why we are always so keen to hear from people who would be willing to foster an older child or young person.
One of the things we do to help our foster carers when they foster an older child or young person is that we offer them the opportunity to take part in an Adolescence and Identity Workshop which explores some of the issues around adolescence for young people.
Concurrent care babies and very young children
Although much less frequent than children aged 11-15 years old, concurrent care babies and very young children also need fostering.
We are one of the few adoption and fostering agencies in Scotland to offer concurrent care. This is when a baby or very young child is placed with a foster carer but returned at agreed intervals to his or her birth parents during an assessment period to explore the possibility if they can care for the child. If it’s felt that the birth parents cannot care for the child then the foster parents would adopt the child.
One of the benefits of concurrent care is that it means the baby or very young child has the least amount of disruption to their care possible.
Family groups of children needing fostered
When family groups of children need to be fostered, they are kept together whenever possible. This is in keeping with what care experienced people said they wanted when they took part in the Independent Care Review and is now the basis of The Promise in Scotland.
We are especially keen to hear from people who might be able to provide a safe and loving home to a sibling group. Siblings can share a bedroom, as long of course as the room is big enough for the siblings. This means you wouldn’t need to worry about having an extra room if you fostered two siblings.
Do more boys than girls need fostered?
We do receive slightly more enquiries from Local Authorities looking for foster parents for boys. This is in keeping with the 2021 statistics published in the Children’s Social Work Statistics, Scotland 2020-21 where 53% of children starting to become looked after were male, and 47% were female.
Why do the children and young people need fostered?
Children and young people need to live with foster carers for many reasons. For example:
- Their birth parents may be unable to care for them due to their health.
- Their birth parents may be deceased and no one else in their family can care for them.
- Their birth parents/or care givers may need a short break (also known as respite foster care). This might be because the child or young person has a disability or health issues.
- The child or young person may be at risk due to neglect by their birth parents.
- The child or young person may be at risk due to alcohol and/or drugs misuse by their birth parents.
- The child or young person has been removed from their birth parents due to sexual and/or domestic abuse or violence in the home.
Could you foster a child or young person?
If you think you could foster a child or young person on a short term, long term or short break (also known as respite) basis then please call 0131 454 3370 or email email@example.com. We can tell you about:
- The fostering process
- The support and training available to you
- The fees and allowances you would receive
You can also ask us as many questions as you like to help you make your decision. We welcome enquiries from people who live up to 60 miles from Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Elgin.
Head of Marketing