COMMERCIAL FEATURE Want to do something rewarding and challenging that makes a difference in your community? Then perhaps you should consider fostering.

Foster carers are desperately needed in Scotland to help the most vulnerable children and young people that need foster homes.  It’s a hugely rewarding job that could change someone’s life for the better.

Figures released by the Fostering Network reveal 1,000 extra foster carers are urgently needed in Scotland in the next 12 months to avert a crisis in foster care.

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Angela Quinn, service manager from Action for Children Fostering Scotland, said: “There can be nothing better than to help turn a child's life around. Many foster carers say the best part of the job is putting a smile on a young person’s face, changing their life and giving them the care they need.”

People become foster carers for various reasons, mainly because they enjoy being around children, want to give a young person a fresh start in life and make a difference as well as wanting a new, rewarding career.

Angela added: “Some people think they can’t afford to give up work to foster – but being a foster carer is a career in its own right. We need carers who can give their full-time attention to the children and young people staying with them. But we know fostering is challenging work that needs to be professionally recognised. So if your current role means you don't have the time to become a carer, don't worry. By being paid, foster carers can focus their time and skills on caring for children and young people.

“It’s also such a rewarding job because by fostering, you'll transform the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people.

“Many people will already possess skills and qualities, developed through other jobs or their own life experience which equip them to make really good foster carers.  So if anyone is thinking about fostering we encourage them to come and talk to us and find out more because fostering is not only rewarding, but also life-changing, both for the child and the foster carer.”

The number of children in care who need foster homes across the UK has risen for five years in a row, and is continuing to rise. There is also an ageing foster carer population and around 14 per cent of the workforce retire or leave every year. And it’s because of this growing need, that we desperately need foster carers to providing caring homes for those who need it most.

Angela added: “Make 2013 the year you make a real difference by fostering a child.”

For more information call Action for Children Fostering Scotland on 0141 331 0584 or visit