Urgent need for more foster carers in the Borders

On average, a child needs a foster family every week in our area, Scottish Borders Council (SBC) has revealed.

The figure has been released to mark the start of this year’s national Foster Care Fortnight (May 14-27), run by leading charity the Fostering Network.

It highlights the urgent need for more foster carers across the Borders and comes as the Fostering Network has announced that across the UK, a child comes into care and needs a foster family every 22 minutes.

Lending her support to this important campaign, Tracey Logan, SBC’s chief executive said: “In February this year, the Council’s Executive approved an increase in fees and allowances for our foster carers.

“They also introduced a retainer for up to eight weeks when a carer is without a placement. These measures were important in acknowledging the vital work done by our foster carers to support vulnerable children and young people in the Borders.

“It was also recognised that proactive measures were required to increase the availability of carers. We currently have 47 households in the Borders looking after 95 children and young people who either cannot live at home or who need additional support, with an additional 30 children looked after by foster carers with partner agencies. But we also have an urgent need for many more carers to look after children and young people of all ages, especially adolescents.”

Support for the campaign has also been given by Scotland and Edinburgh rugby stand off, Greig Laidlaw. Speaking at the launch, he said: “I am proud to support this campaign by Scottish Borders Council as part of Foster Care Fortnight to encourage more people to consider fostering.

“Growing up in the Borders I was grateful for the opportunities and encouragement I received. Without the support of family and friends I am sure I would not have been able to achieve what I have, and to play rugby at the highest level.

“There are many people in the Borders who give of their time and energy to encourage young people to develop their full potential.

“This is true in the rugby community, but also in other sports, youth organisations and clubs. Foster carers help young people in their own homes and by accepting them as part of their families.”

Elaine Torrance, SBC’s acting director of social work services added: “During the course of 2011, a total of 55 children and young people from Scottish Borders were placed in foster care, which equates on average to at least one child per week.

“We have a duty to ensure that we have sufficient foster carers to meet the need and for that to happen, we rely on people coming forward to be considered.

Anyone who thinks they could be a carer is encouraged to contact the family placement team on 01896 662799 or visit www.scotborders.gov.uk/fostering to find out more.

You can also attend one of two foster care information sessions planned for Monday, May 21, at 10am in the Buccleuch Arms, St Boswells or Tuesday, May 22, at 6 at Café U @ Under the Sun in Kelso.

Please contact the team for more information or just turn up on the day.