Become a carer and make a big difference
The South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership has just launched a new campaign to boost the number of carers looking after children and young people in South Ayrshire.
The Partnership is particularly interested in people who want to support children and young people to grow and develop in their communities. There are opportunities to adopt, become foster carers, emergency foster carers, supported and shared carers for those who want to make a big difference to the lives of children and young people of all ages.
As well as outlining the processes involved in becoming a carer, the campaign dispels the myths about who can look after children and highlights the different ways that people can get involved.
Those already supporting children and young people in South Ayrshire come from a wide range of backgrounds. There are those with or without families, same sex couples, single people, full time and part time workers and unemployed people too.
You can meet some of the carers and staff to find out how to get involved by visiting one of the drop in sessions taking place across South Ayrshire.
The drop in sessions start on Monday 4 Feb at Ayr Hospital (2pm-5pm) there are also sessions in Girvan (5 Feb), Troon (6 Feb) and Prestwick (8 Feb) and then further sessions in Ayr. Find out more at www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/icare
The website also has more information on fostering, emergency fostering (looking after a child for up to 72 hours), adoption, supported carer placements and shared care.
Shared care is a short break service for children and young people with disabilities. It's flexible and is tailored to meet the needs of everyone involved, so it could mean caring for a child within your home for a few hours each week.
A supported carer placement gives young people the confidence they need to live independently. Carers provide accommodation, emotional and practical support. This could mean teaching skills such as cookery, budgeting and advice on how to maintain a home.
Here are some comments from young people who have experienced care in South Ayrshire:
"Foster care was great for me, it took me from a situation that wasn't safe into one that was and with a family that I knew would love me."
"I was really lucky; I had lots of support from my foster carers to see my birth family"
"We were all just together me and my foster brothers and sisters just like any other family."
Councillor William Grant, Children and Young People Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "This is an exciting opportunity to make a big difference to the lives of children and young people and help them achieve their ambitions. Our carers do an amazing job, it can be a challenging role, but they receive high levels of support and the reward in helping to shape these young lives is well worth the effort.
"Most people can help care for a child or young person regardless of age, background or ethnicity — what's important is patience, understanding and a nurturing approach which is crucial when dealing with potentially vulnerable children and young people.
"I would encourage as many people as possible to go along to the drop in sessions, meet the team and find out more."
For more information visit south-ayrshire.gov.uk/icare
You can also phone 01292 267 675 (option 2 and then option 2 to speak to the family placement team)