Fostering a brighter future

12th August 2011 at 01:00

Your article on "Looked-after children left behind" (22 July) highlights the fact that children in care often struggle to get the same academic results as those living with their own families, but does not offer explanation of why this may be.

Before they come into care, many looked-after children have had inconsistent care at home and school attendance has not been a priority. This early legacy can affect their whole educational career and life chances.

In addition, because of the shortage of foster carers and residential care placements, children in care are often moved around the system. This means it's likely they will have to change schools, which can be very disruptive to their education.

But the statistics show that looked-after children in Scotland who live with foster carers get better academic results than those looked after in any other type of accommodation.

Foster carers provide children with a routine of school, give them confidence to succeed and a sense of pride in their achievements.

That's why more foster carers with the right skills and qualities are urgently needed to help vulnerable children turn their lives around. Having a stable and loving home is key to a child's well-being, educational achievement and chances of success later on in life.

To find out more about fostering, visit

Anne Black, chair of the Fostering Network Scotland, Glasgow.

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