Urgent need for carers highlighted by Aberdeenshire Council during Foster Care Fortnight

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Foster Care Fortnight has begun and Aberdeenshire Council is highlighting the urgent need for foster carers to support children and young people, who are in need of a safe, nurturing home.

Foster Care Fortnight is The Fostering Network’s annual campaign held across the UK to raise the profile of fostering and how foster care transforms lives.

Children come into foster care for various reasons, from difficulties at home and breakdowns in family relationships, to neglect and abuse.

Aberdeenshire Council is highlighting the urgent need for foster carers to support children and young people, who are in need of a safe, nurturing home.

Aberdeenshire Council currently has more than 350 children, ranging from babies to teenagers, who are cared for by foster carers, by kinship carers or in residential care.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Fostering North Team Manager Sara Youngson said: “Foster Carers are ordinary people in our communities – from young couples, older experienced parents or single people – and, like the children they care for, come from a variety of backgrounds.

“Our Foster Carers and their families are doing remarkable things every single day, showing our young people love with compassion and helping them through life when they need it the most.”

The council’s fostering service recruits, assesses, trains and supports fostering families, to ensure that we provide the very best possible care to children who cannot live at home.

Children and young people who have experienced trauma need adults who can respond in a therapeutic and compassionate manner.

Aberdeenshire Council foster carers receive ongoing support from a dedicated team, providing access to training, support groups and fostering events to help carers to care for children and young people.

Foster carers are needed throughout Aberdeenshire, in rural areas and in towns, from all communities, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, who can provide care to children and young people.

The role provides for different types of foster care, so it could mean that care is needed for a child at short notice when there is a crisis situation, or for just a few days or weeks.

At other times a child needs a home for a few months, or for the duration of their childhood and into adulthood.

Aberdeenshire Council is particularly keen to hear from people interested in fostering older children and teenagers, unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people, children with additional needs and sibling groups.

The council welcomes applicants of any religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation – the authority is simply interested in their ability to provide a loving, stable and therapeutic environment for a child.

Chairman of the education and children’s services committee Councilor David Keating said: “Whilst we always strive to keep children at home with their parents or in kinship care – that is with other members of their family, this unfortunately cannot always happen.

“What makes foster carers extraordinary is their warmth, patience, understanding, flexibility and their ability to care for children safely.

“Foster Care Fortnight helps us not only celebrate the – largely unsung – incredible work our foster carers do, and I would wish to express my gratitude to each and every one.

“I’d also encourage anyone thinking about taking the leap to become a foster carer to get in touch, it’s an opportunity for you to put so much back into the community.”

To find out more or to contact the team, visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/children-and-families/fostering and follow the team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Adoptandfosteraberdeenshire for additional information.

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