Renfrewshire Council is calling for potential foster carers to help it to reach 100 people in the rewarding role.
Foster carers are supporting the campaign to increase their number by almost a fifth – from 81 to 100.
Husband and wife team, Graeme and Shona Small are backing the local authority’s bid to boost numbers.
Photo: (Left to Right) Graeme & Shona Small, Nicola Hanvey, Social worker Amy McGranthin & Agnes Rorrison
Graeme said: “I love it and it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
“If you’re a foster carer you are doing it for the children to try and make a difference in their life.
“We have a wall in our house with photos of all the children we’ve looked after and every one of them has a smile from ear to ear.”
Shona said: “I love kids and love thinking I’m playing a part in shaping the next generation. “The children keep me young and focused and it’s nice to be able to offer nurture, care and security.
“It’s very much a give and take and the kids probably don’t realise they are giving quite as much as they do.
“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Anyone over the age of 21 with a spare room and in good health can apply for the role.
Foster carer Alice Preston, 65, said: “You get a lot of training and support and I would say to anyone considering it that it’s a fantastic thing to do – you will get a lot out of it.
“Be prepared and find out as much as you can. It’s a really challenging but rewarding thing to do and you can change a wee person’s life.
“It’s the most worthwhile thing ever.”
To mark Foster Care Fortnight, which runs from 14-27 May, Renfrewshire Council will be holding a series of informal events where potential foster carers can get more information from the local authority’s team of professionals and the chance to chat with people already in the role.
Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “We are committed to ensuring every child reaches their potential and for some this means joining a new family which provides them with the love and stability that their birth families are unable to offer.
“If you think you could help to make a real difference to a young person’s life and offer them a brighter future, we would love to hear from you.
“As a foster carer you can offer a child a stable home and also help keep them within their own community.
“Our family of foster carers come from all walks of life and this is a vital role.
“We will support you on every step of the journey.”
Events will be held at the Lagoon Leisure Centre on Tuesday 15th May from 10am-12pm and at Renfrew Health Centre on Wednesday 16th May from 10am-12pm. The team will be at Johnstone Town Hall on Thursday 17th May, from 1.30pm-3.30pm to give advice.
Foster carers can be in work or unemployed, be single, married or in in a same sex or heterosexual relationship and can own or rent the property they live in.
As well as training and support, carers receive a generous allowance.
Anyone interested in more detail can call the team at Renfrewshire Council on 0300 300 1199 or email at [email protected]
Main Photo: Graeme & Shona Small