Foster Care Fortnight: open letter to foster carers

Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping The Promise writes to all foster carers in Scotland, as part of Foster Care Fortnight 2023.

To: all foster carers in Scotland.
From: Natalie Don, Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping The Promise.

Hello to Scotland’s foster carers and Scotland’s foster families,

I am Natalie Don and I have recently been appointed as the Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping The Promise.  I am absolutely delighted to have been given this role as it covers many areas which resonate with my background growing up, and as a mum of two young children.

I am really excited to be part of The Fostering Network’s Foster Care Fortnight and to connect with you all.  Firstly, I would like to say that the Scottish Government and I absolutely value and recognise what you do for children and young people across Scotland – you really do transform lives.

Through my role as MSP for Renfrewshire North & West, and in my first month as Minister, I am aware of some of the challenges within fostering. I know the introduction of a Scottish recommended allowance to support foster and kinship carers meet the needs of children in their care is critical, and that we are facing difficulties attracting and keeping people in foster care.  I also know that the pandemic and cost of living crisis have had a huge impact on all of society, and the pressure that has put on foster carers.  It is a real testament to your strength and resilience that you continue to foster and continue to provide love, support and nurture to Scotland’s children and young people.  I truly thank you for that, and I am committed to working with you all to overcome the challenges within fostering.

This year’s theme for Foster Care Fortnight is #FosteringCommunities and I am pleased to be able to meet with some of you, and the children you care for, later this month at Blair Drummond Safari Park and be part of the foster care community. Community is really important to me and something which is very important for our work to Keep The Promise. 

Fostering is a vital part of The Promise, and I am keen that your voices are continually heard as we work across Scotland to bring transformational change to the care ‘system’.  I am committed to bringing your lived experience into that work and into any changes we propose.  This includes work we are doing with local authorities and the third sector to attract more people into foster care, and better support foster carers.  And we are also working at place to agree with COSLA a new Scottish recommended allowance for foster and kinship carers, so everyone gets the same amount no matter where they live. 

Finally, I would like to reaffirm the Scottish Government’s commitment and support to foster families – we see you, we hear you and we value you.  Thank you again for working with us to make Scotland the best place to grow up, where all children feel loved, safe and respected.  I look forward to meeting many of you soon, and many more of you on our journey to 2030 to Keep The Promise and beyond.

With love.
Natalie Don

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