Care for a challenge?
There are already hundreds of people caring for some of Edinburgh’s most vulnerable children but we urgently need more – especially for our specialist schemes, caring for children with disabilities and those with challenging behaviour and complex needs.
The disability scheme needs carers to look after around 50 children, from toddlers to teenagers, who display a wide range of disabilities and behaviours, from physical and learning disabilities to autism or seizure disorders.
And for our New Opportunities scheme, we need full or part-time foster carers for around ten children between seven and 13 years old who’ve had troubled and disrupted family lives, with experiences of separation, loss or abuse.
Katie McKenzie has been a specialist disability foster carer with the Council for six years.
Katie said: “Two of the children I care for have no verbal communication skills and one is limited. What’s amazing is seeing them play together and understand each other without words.
“When they look at you and smile, or hold your hand, you know you’re connecting with them and it’s like winning the lottery!”
Mike Perry has been a New Opportunities foster carer for six years. He said: “It’s my job to keep these children safe and give them a stable, caring home and I find a
laugh and a joke makes all the difference. I enjoy my job and find it really rewarding.”
If you’re over 21, have experience of caring for children and an understanding of disability, or managing challenging behaviour, you could care.
It doesn’t matter if you’re single or married, employed or unemployed, or whether you have your own children or not – lots of people with different backgrounds and skills make excellent carers. So long as you can work as part of a team and have the energy, patience, resilience and commitment to look after a young person, you could make a difference.
Both schemes offer preparation, training, support, fees and allowances. As a full-time specialist foster carer, you could even earn the equivalent of a full-time wage.
Need to know
Call 0800 174 833 or visit www.edinburgh.gov.uk/fostering