MORE than 100 people attended Moray Council’s launch of its new fostering scheme.
At an event held in Elgin on Friday, foster carers and representatives from agencies including the Care Inspectorate and the Fostering Network heard presentations on standards, training and first-hand accounts from local foster carers.
The new scheme, designed to retain existing fosters and attract new ones, will include four skill levels, with the opportunity for foster carers to gain qualifications and advance through the skill levels, with fees to reflect skills progression and the number of children cared for.
Currently, there are 50 fostering households in the area, but more are needed to meet demand.
Nicola Hunter and Fran George, who have both fostered in Moray for seven years, gave a talk on their job as a foster carer.
Fran retired early from nursing to pursue a career in fostering.
“I love the job. I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to be a foster carer; through my job as a nurse I was in regular contact with social workers.
“This is my life now and I wouldn’t change it. If you ask any foster carer I’m sure they’d say the same.”
Nicola is a former support worker for Moray Council and, like Fran, has fostered more than 20 children.
“There must be something in us which draws us to fostering. It’s not always a smooth road but we are still here and still enjoying the job. Your life becomes these children and it’s rewarding – something so simple as the child finishing an entire term at school makes it so worthwhile.”
Chair of Moray Council’s Children & Young People’s Services Committee, Cllr Sonya Warren, said the new scheme will offer quality support, training and respite for foster carers.
“The work of foster carers in Moray, and beyond, is invaluable. Every child deserves a safe, loving home and our dedicated foster carers go above and beyond to provide this.
“In return, our new scheme will recognise their commitment to ongoing training and development.”
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.
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