Majority of Scots don’t want to foster children


Survey finds fostering crisis is getting worse 

11th September 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Most Scots say they would never foster a child, leading charities to call for increased measures to tackle the country’s fostering “crisis”.

Campaigners say children in care face an uncertain future after a survey found 88% of Scottish adults surveyed showed little or no interest in fostering.

It comes as Action for Children this week launched a new drive to recruit more foster carers.  

Over 1,000 people were polled across Scotland as part of the charity’s ‘Spare Room’ initiative. When asked how likely it is you would become a foster carer, 66% said “not at all likely” and 22% chose “not very likely”.

Some 6% said “fairly likely” and just 1% chose “very likely”.

The findings also highlight that more than half the country’s households have a spare room with three quarters using as a guest bedroom. Yet only a tiny minority would consider using that room to take on a child in care.   

“These shocking figures reveal the true scale of the current fostering crisis in Scotland,” said Paul Carberry, Action for Children’s Director for Scotland.  

“Across the country, we have more and more children and young people who desperately need the stability a foster carer can give them yet we have fewer and fewer foster parents. 

“We are looking for people from across Scotland who can provide a secure and loving home to children who have experienced trauma and loss.

"Lots of people can foster; it doesn’t matter if you’re older, whether you own or rent your home, are single, co-habiting or married, male or female or in a heterosexual or same sex relationship, but you must have a spare room and the ability to stand alongside children and young people to help them recover.”

Margaret and Maurice Surgeon who foster two girls at home, full-time, said it wasn’t a decision they took lightly but believed it was the right thing to do.

Margaret explained: “The experience is rewarding. Small things such as one of the girls joining a club or when they call the house ‘home’. It all adds up.”

Maurice added: “You get something out of it for yourself, it’s not financial, it’s being able to make a difference.” 

The charity’s #myspareroom campaign is using virtual reality (VR) to encourage people to become foster carers.

Members of the public will be able to experience through VR what it’s like to welcome a foster child into their home and see the difference it can make to a vulnerable young person.