If you have ever considered fostering but are unable to make a full-time commitment, short-break fostering offers a chance for you to be part of the loving, supportive childhood that every child deserves.
In Scotland there are around 5,000 children who are living with foster families. This is roughly three-quarters of children looked after away from home and family.
Fostering families benefit hugely from short breaks and children love have breaks away with consistent, loving carers.
Short break fostering covers, includes offering a break to the family of a child with disabilities or for a foster family. A child could come and stay for anything from a few hours each week to a weekend each month.
East Dunbartonshire also needs families who can provide full time care to children particularly siblings so they can stay together.
There are approximately 3,800 foster families in Scotland but 500 more are desperately needed, including here in East Dunbartonshire.
Caroline Sinclair, Interim Chief Officer of East Dunbartonshire HSCP, said: "Many people who are keen to foster are not in a position to commit to longer-term placements, but aren’t necessarily aware that there are different ways you can provide foster care. These include providing emergency foster care at short notice and opting to be a foster carer on a short-break basis. These short breaks ensure that children and young people can enjoy a consistent level of care in a loving, supportive environment.
"Fostering changes children’s lives and it can change your life too.” Foster carers come from all walks of life. They receive training and support to help them develop the skills to meet the needs of children.
To be a short break carer you must be at least 21 years of age, have a spare bedroom and be a full time resident in the UK. You can be single or in a relationship and have your own children or not.
The pandemic has served as a reminder of the central role that foster carers play in the lives of our young people.
To find out more, call 0141 777 3003 or visit www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk.