Do you have a spare room to help a local young person?

Photo: '''Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital .
Photo: '''Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital .

This Fostering Fortnight (May 14-27), East Renfrewshire Council is searching for local residents willing to welcome a local young person into their loving home.

Children of all ages need help, but there is a particular need to find supported carers – foster carers for young people aged 16-21 – who are not ready to live on their own just yet.

Being placed with the right carers locally will give East Renfrewshire young people the opportunity to continue with their education or employment, keep the same circle of friends, and give them the stability to thrive with a family that can give them the love and support that they need.

Kate Rocks, chief social work officer for East Renfrewshire, said: “Being a Supported Carer is incredibly rewarding. Most people imagine they would take in a baby or toddler, but there are young people of all ages that need the love and guidance of a home setting.

“The difference with taking in a 16-21 year old is they are asking to be placed in a family home. Whilst there are other options available to them, they still want stability and support.

“If I consider myself at 16, or even 20, I know I would not have been ready to leave the family home either, and with most of our young people still in education or just starting working life, it’s a wonderful time to help them become well-rounded adults.

“Please pick up the phone and speak to us, we treat every enquiry individually and full support is provided, along with financial assistance.”

Lynda Webb from Thornliebank has been a supported carer for over three years. Speaking about her decision to become a supported carer, the term used for people who foster 16-21-year-olds, she said: “I didn’t take the decision to bring a teen into my home lightly, but it was one of the best decisions of my life.

“I was a civil servant with 17 year old twin boys and fostering had always been in my mind.

“I reached out to the fostering team at East Renfrewshire Council and have never looked back. Whilst there have of course been tough moments along the way, our whole family has absolutely loved bringing young people into our home.

“The support we’ve had from the council has been second to none, I know our link worker is at the end of the phone anytime we need anything.

“I would say to anyone even considering it to pick up the phone to the team and have a chat.

“It’s a wonderful experience and there are so many misconceptions that just don’t reflect the reality of bringing a young person into your home.”