05 August 2013

Launch of consultation to hear the views of former foster children

A consultation designed to gather the views of people who lived in foster care as children has been launched by the University of Strathclyde-based Centre for Excellence for Looked after Children in Scotland (CELCIS) in partnership with the In Care Survivor Service Scotland (ICSSS).

The consultation aims to establish if former foster children would wish to attend a confidential forum, in which they would have the opportunity to talk to trained professionals and share their experiences of their time in foster care.

An expert team of researchers from CELCIS and the University of Strathclyde are working together with counsellors from ICSSS to gather and analyse the information from the consultation.

Over the last 10 years, the Scottish Government has been exploring different ways of helping those whose lives have been affected by having been in care. To date, it has mostly focussed on the past experience of children in residential care in Scotland. However, many of those who lived in care were in foster care, a practice known sometimes in the past as 'boarding out'.

The Scottish Government has commissioned CELCIS and ICSSS to undertake the consultation, which will ask those who lived in foster care as children:

  • do you think it would be helpful for people who lived in foster care (“boarded out”), to have an opportunity to tell of their experiences in foster care?
  • how might a confidential forum  be helpful to those who were in foster care?
  • what would encourage you to use such a forum?

There are a number of ways to take part in the consultation, which will run until Sunday 1 September 2013. Respondents can:

  • complete an online or postal questionnaire,
  • take part in a discussion with a member of the consultation team, in person or over the telephone, by calling 0800 121 6027, 9am to 11am, Monday to Friday
  • give their views as part of a group discussion

You will not be asked about your experiences in care but, should you wish to do this, a counsellor from In Care Survivor Service Scotland will be available.