Highland foster carers Tom and Linda Mathieson are fronting a UK-wide campaign Foster Care Fortnight to raise the awareness of fostering.
In Highland there are approximately 100 foster families looking after 167 children who are in Local Authority care. The Highland Council’s Fostering & Adoption Service is joining in with the UK-wide campaign Foster Care Fortnight, from Monday 14 May, to attract more local people into fostering. The fortnight is co-ordinated by fostering charity Fostering Network, to raise the awareness of fostering and highlight the shortage of foster carers across the whole of the UK.
Irene Bloomfield, Fostering and Adoption Manager said: “Foster carers have a vital role to play by giving children and teenagers the chance to reach their potential. In Highland we need many new foster carers. Foster carers are all different, what they have in common is kindness, patience and an ability to understand children. Highland Council Fostering and Adoption Service provides the training and support needed. There are many different ways to get involved – it’s even possible to foster on a part time basis. We want people to come forward and find out more.
“In Highland alone short break carers are needed for weekends and holidays, families who will take children and young people in an emergency, support young people to continue their education locally and permanent foster families for sibling groups of three and young people with a disability.”
Tom and Linda Mathieson said:” As foster carers we have learned to listen, encourage and communicate. Our own children have been really involved and cooperative and made good friends with all the children. Initially when we came into fostering we thought we would be just working and helping a child or children. We soon realised it’s not just a child - it’s a whole family.’
Foster carers are given an allowance to cover the cost of caring for a child as well as a fee and receive training and ongoing support from our fostering team.
From 14 to 27 May the Council will be holding Information events around the Highland area which will give anyone interested the chance to speak to the fostering team and foster carers to find out more about becoming a carer.
The events take place on Tuesday 22 May in Alness and Fort William with a session at the Averon Leisure Centre in Alness running from 6-9pm and at Social Work, An Drochaid, Claggan Road, Fort William from 4-6pm.
The next day, Wednesday 23 May, the event will take place at the Family Resource Centre in Limetree Avenue, Invenress from 5.30 – 7.30pm and on Friday 25 May the final session will take place at Aviemore Library from 3-5pm.
Anyone unable to attend can telephone or email for an information pack by calling 01463 703 431 or email email@example.com or logging on to: