Fostering services facing more pressure due to welfare reforms

  • A Holyrood committee has heard how councils are experiencing an increasing demand for fostering services as parents are facing the pressures of welfare reforms. /images/risinghouse.jpg

    MSPs on the Welfare Reform Committee have been told of children as young as seven are needed to be placed in homes due to the lack of available foster parents, reports The Courier.

    Benefit changes are placing an increased pressure on families and is resulting in further demands being placed on social care and health services, the committee were told.

    Labour MSP Margaret McDougall asked about the effect on fostering services. She said: "If there is this huge increase on the pressures on the parents, is that support there to help the children?"

    Stephen Brown, of North Ayrshire Council, said: "We have certainly had an increase on the pressures on our fostering service as a result of an increased number of children being accommodated. We have had the unfortunate situation where we have had to house some children in some of our units at an earlier age than we would ordinarily like. So, some of our children's houses have accommodated children as young as seven or eight, which is far from ideal, because of an absence of appropriate foster placements."

    Richard Gass, of Glasgow City Council, said the local authority was running a "continual campaign" to recruit foster parents.

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