Campaign boost for foster caring

Image caption, The foster care recruitment drive has led to a 75% rise in inquiries

A major recruitment campaign to address a shortage of foster carers in Scotland has been hailed a success.

Four Scottish councils pooled their resources last month to encourage potential carers to come forward.

East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and Edinburgh councils used newspaper and radio advertising as well as posters in their campaign.

They said their "Make a Difference - Foster a Child" campaign attracted 75% more inquiries than usual in one month.

One of the biggest increases was reported by East Lothian Council, which said 30 potential new foster carers came forward in May, compared with the usual monthly figure of 4.5 approaches.

East Lothian councillor, Peter MacKenzie, said: "The response to this campaign has been fantastic but I know there are still more people out there who want to get involved."

The campaign was launched last month in co-operation with the Fostering Network at the beginning of National Foster Carer Fortnight.

Sarah Lurie, director of the Fostering Network Scotland, said: "There is a shortage of 1,700 foster carers in Scotland, so we are delighted to see that inquiries are increasing as a result of the campaign.

"It shows that an energetic and targeted recruitment campaign really can encourage more people to become foster carers.

"We hope that more local authorities will join together to run similar campaigns to find people to look after some of Scotland's most vulnerable children."

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