ST Mirren football stars, David van Zanten and David Barron, got on speedway bikes to kick-start a campaign to recruit foster carers.
For older Saints fans, it will bring back memories of speedway meetings when some of the top British riders would race around the track at the club’s former Love Street stadium in the mid-70s.
And staff from the Intensive Fostering Service (IFS) at Paisley’s Kibble Education and Care Centre will have a fostering recruitment stand at the Glasgow Tigers Premier League speedway meeting on Sunday May 29, at Ashfield Stadium, in Glasgow.
The Saints players were joined by Glasgow Tigers speedway stars, James Grieves and Theo Pijper, urging people to consider a career as a foster carer.
Defender, David Barron, said: “If you become a foster carer you get the chance to change the future of a young person in a positive way and you will also be changing your own future as well.”
David van Zanten added: “It must be a great feeling – just like scoring the goal against Aberdeen the other night that kept Saints in the SPL – when you have helped a young person who has had a difficult background and you see them mature into a young adult with a great future ahead of them.”
Begins a spokesperson: “The IFS finds foster carers for young people aged between 12 and 21 who have previously faced difficulties in their lives.
“As part of Foster Care Fortnight, they are urging people to consider a career with IFS, which offers specialised training and a combination of professional fees and allowances, which could be as much as £37,000 a year.
“Kibble’s IFS offers four types of foster care careers. The main foster care service is for young people from 12 to 18; supported care is for young people between 18 and 21 and respite care for 12 to 18 year-olds, which is a part-time role looking after a young person to allow their carers to take a planned short break from fostering or to provide emergency respite care.
“The emergency respite carers can receive professional fees of about £20,000 per annum based on a 52-week on-call rota with up to 28 days earned leave a year and the part-time respite carers earning a pro-rata amount.”
An advert urging people to become foster carers is also on the back of 15 Arriva buses in Paisley and going between the town, Braehead and Glasgow.
Kay Gibson, operations manager for IFS, said: “Signing up with IFS means people get the chance to make a real difference to a young person’s life, embark on a different career themselves, gain new qualifications and get paid at the same time.
“Our specialised foster carers have an HNC SVQ in Social Care, or will be prepared to train with us to gain these qualifications.
“The areas of foster care we specialise in provide an opportunity for people with different levels of commitment to help us support our young people to be all they can be.
“Someone may not want to give up their present full-time job, but could become a respite carer at weekends and use that as a springboard to a full-time career in social care.”
To find out more about working as a foster carer log on to the website www.changingfuturestogether.org or call 0141 840 6274.
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