Award for Specialist Foster Care team for making a difference
2023 Fostering Excellence Awards recognises team's work in helping children with disabilities live their best possible lives.
Our Specialist Disability Foster Care Team has been recognised at this year’s Fostering Network Excellence Awards.
The team, winners under the social work team category, received their award at a special event hosted by the Fostering Network in celebration of the winners' achievements.
They were recognised for making a difference to the lives of children and foster carers for almost two decades. In this time, the team has worked passionately to ensure that children with additional needs are able to live their best possible lives.
Team Leader Margot Gillon said:
“We are delighted to have received this award from the Fostering Network. The Specialist Disability Foster Care team at City of Edinburgh Council has been making a difference to the lives of children and foster carers for almost 20 years.
“We have been reflecting on the history of our team as we marked our 20th anniversary as a service. The carers in our team offer placements to children and young people with a range of disabilities, who in other cases, might have grown up in a residential care setting.
“Amongst the children in our scheme, the disabilities which are most commonly seen are autism and intellectual disability, and our carers also look after children with a number of different health needs. It may be worth noting that children in our scheme become looked after and accommodated for the same reasons as any children. Only a tiny number are accommodated due to their disability.
“Around half our carers have a professional background in working with children with disabilities, such as nursing, residential care, and working in special schools, and others have gained skills as their child has grown.
“Today we have 144 carers from 82 households looking after 20 children for short breaks to help them stay with their first families, 95 full time children mostly permanently placed with foster families, many of whom have parental rights.
“Margot added: “Although we are a disability team, our carers often look after a family of children with a mix of needs, for example siblings where one has a disability and another does not. They look after children from 0 – 21 years old and most become members of the family for as long as required.”