Do you have room in your heart to be a foster Carer?

Consider becoming a foster carer

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Eamon and Emma from Airdrie have been fostering children with North Lanarkshire for 34 years, since their own children were in high school. Nowadays they foster babies, but over the course of time they have fostered children of all ages and have albums overflowing with family pictures. We asked them what advice they'd offer anyone considering becoming a foster carer.

"Just do it! There's a lot more support these days. The council training is so thorough - you learn loads. And the support from other foster carers is great. Some of the things you need to know you can't just learn from a book.

"Fostering is your chance to give local kids who maybe haven't had the easiest start in life some happy memories to store away - baking scones with Auntie Emma and family camping trips and canoeing with Uncle Eamon. These are things you can't place a value on.

"People tell us that we must have special qualities to be able to do what we do. But you don't need to be special. You need to be able to understand and have patience. Most of all, you need plenty of room in your heart."

'Everyday Heroes Wanted', the council's most recent fostering and adoption recruitment campaign which focuses on the simple everyday things that make all the difference to a child's life, is now in its final year. Residents continue to respond to our requests for new carers to come forward, but we have to keep on asking because we will always need more

"Approved carers are paid a fee and an allowance which helps you through," added Eamon and Emma. "But that's not a reason for doing it. For us it's all about making those kids a part of your family. It's giving them the reassurance and stability they need to feel safe enough to trust again.

"Yes you need ground rules for their safety, but at the end of the day they need to feel loved and to know there's someone there that they can talk to. It can be hard work but it's what keeps us going. That and the reward of seeing these kids moving on to their adoptive family or back to their birth parents feeling stable and happy."

For more information about becoming a foster carer and to register your wish to start the application process, see related content or request an information pack by calling 0800 073 1566.

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