Foster carer enquiries in Scotland have increased by 225% since the pandemic began, according to a leading charity.
The child and youth care charity Kibble has revealed its fostering service has seen a massive spike in foster carer enquiries, which is thought to be partially reflective of the major uptake in altruistic work by people throughout the UK.
Kibble, which offers an Intensive Fostering Service (IFS), issued an urgent call for more foster carers in Scotland last year to help support young people and families who would be negatively affected by increased levels of trauma, financial turmoil and poor mental health as a result of the pandemic.
The charity’s fostering service was launched in 2004 and provides safe, caring homes for children and young people from the age of five who are unable to live with their birth families. Many of the young people have experienced trauma and/or neglect, and because of this have struggled to settle in previous care placements before coming to Kibble where they benefit from a trauma-informed and therapeutic approach to care.
Kibble provides an intensive service that meets each young person’s individual needs by providing a person-centred care plan and support system made up of their foster carer, key worker and qualified therapists.
‘It’s very encouraging to see that so many have reflected on the pandemic as an opportunity to become a foster carer. The past year has been extremely challenging for many young people, and they will need a sense of stability more than ever,’ said executive director community services, Neil McMillan.
‘Our foster carers come from various walks of life and that’s something we not only support but encourage. The one thing which they all have in common is their desire for giving a young person a safe, loving home and we would urge anyone considering foster care to reach out for more information.
‘The support provided through our service is over and above a typical foster care placement and we make sure to meet regularly with foster carers and young people, ensuring successful placements where the young person and their foster carer are comfortable and well supported.’
In addition to the existing Paisley base, Kibble has recently announced the opening of a new premises in Hamilton, which will provide round-the-clock support and a welcome hub for local young people and their foster carers.
‘We’re delighted to be expanding geographically, allowing us to welcome foster carers from further afield into the team and increasing access to the on-call support available to our current foster carers based in the region,’ added Mr McMillan.