WOULD-be foster carers are being urged to transform their lives in the new year by opening their hearts and their homes to a young child in need.

People from all walks of life who have considered becoming a foster carer are being encouraged to take that final step and find out how they can help a child achieve their full potential.

Across North Ayrshire, new carers are needed to offer care and support to children and young people, who - through no fault of their own - find themselves in need of a fostering placement.

Becoming a foster carer will make an incredible difference to a young boy or girl in need of a caring and stable home.

Councillor Peter McNamara, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “For those who have been considering fostering, 2017 could present a wonderful opportunity to find out more and take the first step in what could be an amazing and fulfilling journey.

“All children have different needs and therefore require different approaches however, the reward of watching children grow while under their care, gives foster carers an unrivalled feeling of immense pride.

“We would love to hear from a broad range of applicants, including single people, couples and people from all walks of life. They can all make a huge difference to a young person’s life.

“People sometimes think they can’t foster or adopt because of their circumstances however, these concerns are often unfounded and so we would encourage all people who have an interest to get in touch with us before ruling themselves out.”

North Ayrshire needs local carers for North Ayrshire children.

Finding sufficient numbers of the right carers is always a challenge faced by fostering services although carers in North Ayrshire are paid amongst the best fees and allowances in Scotland and are well-supported to undertake a skilled and demanding role.

Children come into care for a wide range of reasons and remain in care for a few days, months or sometimes longer.

Some children return to the care of their families but for others moving on to adoption or remaining in permanent foster care is the final outcome.

Foster homes which can care for a sibling group or children with more complex needs are particularly in demand.

At the moment, North Ayrshire’s Family Placement Team is particularly keen to hear from potential carers who would be willing to open their home to siblings.

Prospective foster carers can come from a variety of backgrounds and relationships, and do not need to have any specific qualifications.

You do not need to own your home and can be either single or in a stable relationship with a partner.

However, you must have a spare room.

If you are interested in finding out more about being a foster carer, North Ayrshire Council’s dedicated Family Placement Team can be contacted either over the phone or through its website.

So if you are thinking about fostering or want more information, call 01294 311 505 or email adfos@north-ayrshire.gov.uk or go to the foster caring section at www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk