Foster carers wanted from BME backgrounds

The second wave of a campaign to increase the number of carers from black and minority ethnic backgrounds in Edinburgh has been launched.

After last year's successful campaign - the number of people enquiring about fostering opportunities doubled - the City of Edinburgh Council is hoping to further increase awareness during this recruitment drive.

Carers from all backgrounds are needed but there are very few black and ethnic minority 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 Convener Cllr Paul Godzik said: "We are always looking for new carers to come and work with us to help give our children a safe environment to learn and grow in. 

"We hope to build on the success of last year's campaign and encourage even more people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to consider becoming a foster carer. We can help provide the support and advice needed to make this decision, so please, if you are thinking of fostering get in touch or come along to one of the drop-in sessions to learn more about it."

A series of drop-in sessions start this week at McDonald Road Library on Thursday 30 August and continue on Thursday 6 September, both sessions run from 10am to 1pm.  Foster care recruitment staff and carers will also be on hand at the Edinburgh MELA, which runs across Saturday 1st and 2nd September at Leith Links.

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 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. 

Additional information:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Anyone interested in finding out more about fostering can call the City of Edinburgh Council free on 0800 174 833.

4. 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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