Fostering Community Champions in Scotland is an exciting four-year project, starting in 2014, that aims to improve the outcomes of children in care by reducing the isolation experienced by many foster carers and helping young people to use their experience of foster care in a positive and meaningful way.
During the project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, we are training and supporting 48 volunteers which will include 36 foster carers and 12 young people.
Fostering Community Champions is one of a number of innovative programmes that The Fostering Network runs to improve foster care and outcomes for fostered young people.
For more information about Fostering Community Champions email Sarah McEnhill
For media enquiries email The Fostering Network’s media team or phone 020 7620 6425.
Foster carer champions
This exciting project offers a unique service to foster carers in Scotland.
Foster carer champions are experienced foster carers with an excellent ability to listen to and support carers who may be experiencing problems or just need some one to talk to. Champions have expertise in a wide variety of areas, such as:
- responding to challenging behaviour
- facing allegations
- caring for a children born with complex needs
- managing transitions
- addressing tension between carers and professionals
Foster carer champions receive training and ongoing support from The Fostering Network to assist them in their role and have ongoing opportunities to increase their knowledge and skills. The champions support foster carers throughout Scotland via phone or email.
Foster carers often feel isolated and cannot always talk to someone about the struggles they are going through, the champions project bridges this gap, matching carers to give them the opportunity to talk through issues they are facing, supporting carers in this way will reduce stress faced by carers and improve services therefore benefitting children and young people.The support delivered by foster carer champions to newly approved foster carers will mean that new carers have an improved initial experience of foster care.
Young champions are young people aged between 15 and 22 who have lived in a fostering household.
These champions take part in a range of activities to support foster carers and fostered young people in Scotland, including:
- delivering training for foster carers
- presenting at conferences to influence decision makers
- sharing their experiences of foster care with the media
- writing for newsletters.
Through this project and the activities they will be involved in delivering, young champions will build their confidence, develop transferable skills and improve their ability to develop positive relationships.
Towards the end of 2016, the young champions made a film 'Give Me a Chance' to highlight the challenges children and young people can face in everyday life when placed into care. The film was launched at the Scottish Parliament at an event attended by, among others, Mark McDonald MSP (Minister for Childcare Care and Early Years) and Liam McArthur MSP.
There are several ways you can get involved in our Fostering Community Champions project.
Foster carers and young people
- Receive support from one of the champions.
- Become a champion yourself.
- Refer a foster carer, young person or foster family for support.
- Encourage suitable foster families in your area to become champions.
- Invite a young champion to speak at your event.
For more information email Sarah McEnhill.