We are an independent fostering agency with a family feel in Scotland, part of National Fostering Group. Focusing on creating high quality foster homes for children and young people, Fostering Relations empowers foster carers to meet the specific needs of those in their care.
Fostering Relations is the smallest agency within the National Fostering Group family, but covers a large geographical area. We cover Fife, Perthshire, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Lothians, East Kilbride and Renfrewshire and Dunbartonshire.
We currently work with in excess of 47 foster carers and 50 children and young people. Alongside fostering for children and young people, the agency provides Continuing Care for young adults aged from 18-21 years or 26 if they are in full-time education.
Around 60% of our children stay with their foster families long-term. This is important as it gives children a sense of belonging and helps them to feel part of the family.
Lynne Greig, Regional Manager
If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer in Scotland, please get in touch with us today.
We work alongside local authorities across Scotland to provide children with the security of long-term foster care and help them make the most of their education.
We maintain a friendly family feel despite being part of a large group. The staff team has strong professional relationships with all their fostering households.
Supervising social workers visit families at least twice a month, or more often if needed. All foster carers receive a weekly call to see how they are doing. There is an out-of-hours and weekend telephone emergency support line for foster carers. This is staffed by supervising social workers who are supported by a member of management.
A dedicated chartered clinical psychologist is available to offer support and guidance, based on a monthly surgery model or drop in sessions.
It is not just foster carers who feel well-supported but also staff who work closely together as an office-based team. We have a focus on peer learning and the team meets regularly for social activities.
They are able to call on the wider group for information, advice and expertise and the agency values the shared resources and expertise of the group, as well as the great opportunities for young people (such as the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and British Explorers). Members of the group are sometimes invited to attend team meetings so they can share specialist information or training.
When our foster carers take a holiday, the foster children go too. The agency has a caravan that our families can go to whenever they need to get away. It is well-used and the children love it.
Lynne Greig, Regional Manager
A significant strength of Fostering Relations is our commitment to engaging meaningfully with carers and young people and to ensuring carers and children participate in the running of the service.
We believe it is vital for foster carers to have a voice and there is an active carer forum which helps to shape policy and practice and bring issues to the attention of managers. We hold regular events including activity days for all family members, a carers forum and carers support group.
Among the suggestions implemented recently was the creation of informal carer support groups, which meet regularly for coffee and chat. These provide a safe space to build connections and share experiences and many friendships are formed in this way.
There is also an active children’s group called The Young Team, which includes both foster children and birth children. The team, which is managed by the young people themselves, arranges events and activities, such as Segway and rock climbing, which are always attended by agency staff.
An independent advocacy worker attends every second meeting of the group to talk to the young people and feed back to us if there are any issues that need to be dealt with.
We place huge value on education. Educational support coordinators provide specific support to foster carers and children, liaising with schools and education provisions to support children in their educational achievements.
Educational support coordinators also help young people to make further education choices, draw up CVs and find suitable apprenticeships. One Educational support Coordinators devised the Steps to Success pack for pre-school children which focuses on the importance of education and play to help support developmental gaps.
Young people who are looked after by Fostering Relations are provided with the best possible care and support. If challenges arise within a placement, we work closely with the family to see what else could be put in place to help.
If additional support is identified we would discuss and agree if this should be provided by an external service or if, depending on their level of experience, this could be best provided by our foster carer.
We are willing and able to be flexible in our approach to ensure that individual needs of children and young people are met.
Four years ago, we held a consultation with our foster children about respite care and they told us they don’t want to stay with strangers. So, we remain committed to 52-week placements seeing arbitrary respite as arbitrary and destabilising for children.
Lynne Greig, Regional Manager
Our goal is to provide our foster carers with the right level of training and support to help them achieve the very best outcomes for children in their care. We want our carers to feel confident, knowledgeable and ultimately be the best they can be for children in their care. Our training courses are available to all our carers, completely free and delivered nationally, locally and digitally.
Each child is given a wellbeing kit when they join the agency which contains activities and strategies to help them manage anxiety and increase self-esteem. Each bag is bespoke to the individual and includes things like relaxation CDs and garden spinners.
Our foster carers can claim a wide range of perks and benefits, like free membership to The Fostering Network, Max Cards,high street discounts, invitations to family activities and events, and much more.