The recently released Children’s Social Work Statistics show that 6,823 children were in care living away from home and family in Scotland as of 31 July 2011 and 5,023 of these children were living with foster carers. This is a rise in children placed with foster carers of 326 (seven per cent) from the previous year.
The Fostering Network is calling on the Scottish Government to offer more support to foster carers and to provide them with a statutory allowance so that not only can current foster carers provide for these children without subsidising the state from their own pocket, but that new ones can also be recruited.
Sara Lurie, director of the Fostering Network Scotland, said: “We called for 1,000 extra foster carers to be recruited in Scotland throughout 2012. This increase in the number of children being placed with foster carers only goes to reinforce what we have said. This rise, combined with people leaving the service or retiring, means that more efforts must be made by the Scottish Government to make fostering an appealing life choice.
“There is no doubting the commitment of foster carers in Scotland but this continuing strain on what is required of them could lead to people being put off from applying rather than being encouraged to come forward and make a difference. The Scottish Government need to act now and offer foster carers in Scotland the support and financial remuneration that they need and deserve.”
You can read the statistics in full on the Scottish Government website.