Foster carers from BME backgrounds wanted

A new multimedia campaign launched today is aiming to tackle a shortage of foster carers in Edinburgh.

Carers from all backgrounds are needed but the Council wants to double the number of foster carers from black and minority ethnic backgrounds (BME).

There are very few BME carers in Edinburgh and the aim is to try and increase numbers so that children from different cultural, religious and ethnic groups can live with foster carers who share similar backgrounds. Matching children with carers from the same background isn't always essential but, in some cases, it can help a child to cope with their situation.

City Children & Families Leader Cllr Marilyne MacLaren said:

"We need people from varied backgrounds and different walks of life to become foster carers. It's important that this crucial service reflects the cultural make-up of our city and that children who need care get the care that best suits them.

"Our foster care team work extremely hard to encourage potential carers and our campaign highlights the impact that their support can have on a child's life. It's a very special role and a foster family can help towards a happy future."

Information events will take place during the Edinburgh MELA this weekend and at McDonald Road Library on Thursday 1st September and 8th September from 10am to 1pm.

The BME recruitment campaign is part of a wider ongoing campaign to promote foster care in Edinburgh called 'Foster Me Foster Us'. There continues to be a severe shortage of foster carers in Edinburgh and more carers are needed to provide children with safe and caring homes while they are unable to live with their own families.

Carers get paid as self-employed people by the Council and receive a fee, allowances, full training and ongoing support. Depending on the type of caring work taken on, the rewards can be around the level of a well paid full-time job. Carers also get funds to provide pocket money and to buy Christmas presents.

Foster carers must be over 21 years old. They can be single, married or part of a long-term relationship. They can be a tenant or homeowner. Some have children of their own and some don't. Carers don't need to be well-off or in work.

Anyone interested in finding out more about fostering can call the City of Edinburgh Council free on 0800 174 833 or visit the Council's foster care web pages.

As well as the information events, the campaign uses radio, newspaper and council publication advertising, bus shelter adverts and library plasma screens.

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