South Lanarkshire Council candidate urges people to consider fostering

A South Lanarkshire Council candidate is trying to encourage more people to foster and adopt.

Margaret Cowie, who will stand for office in the Rutherglen South seat, has fostered children for around 30 years is urging anyone who has a spare room and the time to consider becoming a foster carer.

Margaret told Lanarkshire Live about her own experiences of being a foster carer over the years.

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She told us: “The reason I got into fostering was because of my aunt.

“I loved seeing what she was doing and the difference she was making. When I first decided to be a foster carer, I already had my own child and we had a spare room.

“Some of the kids I fostered I had since they were three-years old and now they’re 25 – they still come back and stay with me. I class them as my children.

“I’ve probably had around more than 50 kids over my years as a foster carer.

“I haven’t had many new kids over the years, because when you move to the long term, you have to focus on the kids and you’ve got to provide a suitable environment, but I’m looking into doing respite care now .

“If you have the time and the love for kids then it’s such a rewarding thing, the kids can have complex behavior and it can be quite challenging with social work meetings and dealing with the biological parents.

“These children need forever homes and they deserve them, they don’t deserve to be shunted aside.

“But I know they’re desperate for foster parents at the moment. It can be very challenging, but it’s also so rewarding and if you have the time and a spare room then I wholeheartedly suggest doing it.

“If anyone is thinking about it, get in touch with social work and go along to some of the group meetings to find out more about it.”

The existing difficulties in recruiting foster carers were exacerbated by the onset of the pandemic.

As a result, SLC say the number of people inquiring about fostering has decreased.

There is now somewhat of a shortage of those willing to foster.

A spokesman for SLC told us: ““However, we have seen the numbers of inquiries increasing recently, perhaps due to people re-evaluating their priorities, and we know that SLC is a great organization for foster carers to work with.

“We have highly skilled and experienced staff who provide excellent support to our foster carers. We particularly would like to recruit more carers for older children and for sibling groups.

“Although there was a significant rise in inquiries from prospective adopters during the pandemic we remain keen to hear from people who could offer a loving home to older children and to siblings.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about fostering should contact the council via their website.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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