You could make a difference - step forth and find out more

Lucy (and Dan) Thornton, who are foster carers, with one of the new taxis supporting the campaign.
Lucy (and Dan) Thornton, who are foster carers, with one of the new taxis supporting the campaign.

West Lothian residents who could make a real difference to the lives of young adults are being encouraged to step forward.

West Lothian Council’s Throughcare and Aftercare Team (TCAC) are looking to recruit local people to become supported adult carers.

Supported care can help young adults

Supported care can help young adults

The supported adult placement scheme provides a service for young people aged 16-21 who have been looked after away from their parental home.

It aims to create a supportive environment for young people coming out of foster care, enabling them to develop independent living skills.

Supported adult carers are enthusiastic, understanding, caring and driven people who provide a comfortable room for young people to stay in and offer support, guidance and stability, with a view to the young person moving onto independent living.

Morag Bell, a supported adult carer from Armadale, said: “I registered as a foster carer in 1976 and have since transferred over to become a supported adult carer.

“Some people forget that when a young person turns 16, they don’t automatically become independent; they still need stability and someone to guide them until they can find their feet.

“Being a supported adult carer can be a tough job but I cannot emphasise enough how worthwhile it is.

“This generation is our future and it is so rewarding knowing that you’ve had a significant impact on their life.

“I have looked after and provided support for a number of young people, one of whom is now engaged with a house and a baby, and another who is in her third year of university.

“Both of these young ladies do not consider themselves to be part of a scheme but instead refer to me as ‘mum’ and to each other as sisters.”

Danny Logue, executive councillor for social policy, said: “Supported adult carers play an important role in the lives of vulnerable young people, helping them develop their independent living skills and preparing them for the next steps in their life.

“If you’d like to make a significant impact in the life of a young person by becoming a supported adult carer, there is no better time than now.”

Supported adult carers are employed by the council and receive a monthly payment of £929.40. For more information on how to be considered, contact John Flynn on 01506 771764 or e-mail john.flynn@westlothian.gov.uk

West Lothian residents looking to support future generations could also consider fostering.

Foster caring has many similarities, as it involves looking after young people in your own home.

West Lothian Council is also looking for caring and committed local people to foster and make a huge difference in a child’s life. Fostering is a way of offering children and young people a stable, family environment while their own families are unable to look after them.

Being in care means a new home, a new family, and a new life. Some children need to be looked after for a few days or months and some need to be looked after for all of their childhood.

Lots of different kinds of people foster and find it very rewarding and fulfilling.