THE number of children in council care is at an all-time high, new figures show.
Now, a new plan is being drawn up to help give vulnerable children and young people a better start in life.
Renfrewshire Council’s Adoption Services Plan is aiming to provide a safety net for the growing number of young people whose families are unable to look after them.
The number of children who have found themselves in local authority care is now at its highest-ever level and has increased every year for the last decade.
Currently, councils in Scotland look after 16,171 vulnerable children.
The need for more foster carers and adoptive parents has mirrored the increase in the number of children looked after by councils, and has virtually doubled since 1987.
Renfrewshire Council said it has a constant demand for foster carers and adoptive parents and is currently running a recruitment campaign.
Over the last three years, the number of children adopted in Renfrewshire has risen from 11 to 18.
Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board, said: “Every child in Renfrewshire matters. Every child has a right to a childhood where they feel loved and a right to grow up in a safe environment which helps them achieve everything they’re capable of.
“The best place for a child is with their own family. But where this isn’t safe or doesn’t meet the child’s needs, we will look at other solutions including adoption.
“Our Adoption Plan is geared up to making sure that we have enough foster carers and adoptive parents. It also ensures that we provide the support that everyone who is touched by the adoption process needs, from the child through to adults who may be trying to contact their natural families.”
Renfrewshire is currently exploring a new approach where children will be placed with foster carers who have already been approved as potential adoptive parents. This will mean that if a child can’t go back to their family they can stay with the foster carers permanently, cutting down the stress and disruption of having to move again.
Call 0141 842 4077 for more information on how to become a foster carer or an adoptive parent or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/fostering