“Every day is always good with my foster carers, but the thing that I always love is on a Sunday loads of family come up and my foster mum makes a massive steak pie.
“Everyone is there and we all eat together and watch TV. It’s not much, but it means a lot to me,” says Andrew, a 17-year-old from East Dunbartonshire, who has been in foster care since he was 13.
For many children and young people who come into care, it can be these small family moments which are most cherished and, over time, create the stability that helps them flourish.
Having a loving, supportive home has given Andrew the confidence to apply to college. He also volunteers at his school, coaching younger students.
However, every year, there are another 40 children and young people in East Dunbartonshire, just like Andrew, looking for a home.
To mark Fostercare Fortnight 2018, which runs from May 14 to 27, East Dunbartonshire Council is launching the Little Moments Change Lives campaign to emphasise the everyday experiences that help children feel secure and loved. The aim is to urge potential foster carers who believe they could provide a loving home to get in touch and find out more.
Paolo Mazzoncini, Chief Social Work Officer at East Dunbartonshire Health & Social Care Partnership, said, “Foster carers come from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences: single, living with a partner, in a same sex relationship or married.
“In East Dunbartonshire, we need more local foster carers for our children so they can maintain important family, school and social relationships and benefit from remaining part of their own community.
“Foster care transforms lives. We are passionate about the difference that foster care makes to the lives of fostered children and young people. As Chief Social Work Officer I see this every day; children and young people flourishing in our care and achieving in all areas of their lives. I also get a sense of the real satisfaction that foster carers experience from helping these youngsters reach their full potential.”
Children and young people need foster care when they are not able to remain at home with their birth families. Foster carers provide care in emergencies, for a few weeks or months until children can return to their families, or for longer periods of time, including permanent care.
To be eligible one adult needs to be at home full time, and you will need to have a spare bedroom. Carers will receive regular support from a supervising social worker and be involved in training and support groups. Foster carers receive a fee and allowance when caring for children.
If you can help East Dunbartonshire’s children and young people through fostering, please contact us on 0141 777 3003 or search ‘fostering’ at www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk