Urgent plea goes out for more foster carers in Scotland to help change the lives of children

The country’s leading children’s charity has issued a plea for more people to consider becoming foster carers after figures show that hundreds of young people are in need of a place to call home.

Barnardo’s Scotland has pointed to research by The Fostering Network that reveals the number of foster families required stands at 500.

Martin Crewe, Director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “Without being dramatic, it is fair to say that fostering in Scotland is in crisis as the numbers of those registered to foster continues to fall year on year. A shortage of foster carers leaves hundreds of children without a safe and loving home, and that is something we are keen to address.”

At Barnardo’s, our purpose is clear - changing childhoods and changing lives, so that children, young people, and families are safe, happy, healthy, and hopeful.

Martin Crewe

He added: “No child should suffer as a result of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, and we strongly believe that any loving person can make a wonderful foster parent to a child in need. We offer support and training every step of the way and, on average, an allowance of £495 per week, per child is available.”


Carole Duffy, 59, who lives in East Kilbride, became a foster carer for Barnardo’s in 2009 and has loved the experience, as she explains: “When you are a foster carer, to see even the little things can make such a big difference. To see the children relax, to laugh and to see their confidence grow is special, and it’s all about making them the best that they can be. I have been very lucky to maintain a relationship with all of my previous foster children.

Carole, who has five children, two stepchildren and nine grandchildren of her own, estimates that she has fostered around ten children and provided respite for 30 more. She adds: “I have always had great support and training from Barnardo’s over the years, and if I need them, there is always someone at the end of the phone.”

My advice to new carers is that all children are different and they all come with their own issues. Much of the role of a foster carer is trial and error to see what works, but establishing routines and boundaries from day one helps them feel safe. It’s important to have a good support network around you, so link in with your social worker and other carers for advice, or for them just to be a sounding board. It’s good to talk.

Carole Duffy

Barnardo’s in Scotland is committed to keeping The Promise to care-experienced young people and to ensure every child in Scotland grows up safe, loved and respected. That is why the charity is calling on people to consider joining Barnardo’s Scotland as a foster carer. Barnardo’s has more than 80 years of experience of successfully placing children and young people with families, and there are many benefits to being a carer.

Those looking to foster will be supported with a thorough child and carer matching process, as well as out-of-hours advice and a support line service provided by the social work team. There are support groups and family social events, held to enable carers to meet the team and other local carers, along with a high level of professional training and development, relevant to each specific young person placed.


All foster carers receive a daily allowance which is designed to cover the cost of caring for a fostered child. This is intended to cover food, clothes, toys, pocket money, gifts, personal items, transport and all other expenses incurred when looking after a child and/or young person, including household costs.

Discover where you belong, in our community of brilliant foster carers. To find out more click – www.barnardos.org.uk/foster, or to talk to someone on the telephone, please call 0800 0277 280. The charity’s lines are open from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.


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