A HEARTFELT plea for would-be-foster carers and adopters in Renfrewshire has been issued by Barnardo’s Scotland.

The plea comes at the start of the children’s charity foster and adoption recruitment campaign and aims to give children and young people the stable, loving care they deserve.

In Renfrewshire there are 264 children and young people in foster care and it is estimated that 800 new foster families are needed across Scotland in 2016.

In 2015, 205 children and young people were referred for adoption but the number of registered adopters was only 110 – so the need for adopters is as great as it ever was.

Barnardo’s Scotland’s assistant head of business Siobhan Carroll, said: “The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 placed Scotland’s Adoption Register on a statutory footing.

“The new legislation due to come into force in April, means that every adoption agency (32 local authorities in Scotland) must refer children and families to the Register after three months.

“This change will hopefully be a benefit to families, children and young people.

“By linking agencies it will make placing children more effective and quicker.

“The Act also introduces continuing care – an entitlement for young people to stay in a care placement up to the age of 21.

“Barnardo’s Scotland campaigned for this change and fully backs it.

“It does however mean that young people could stay in foster placements for longer, so the need for foster carers will increase.”

More foster carers and adopters are desperately needed to give children and young people loving, stable care and homes.

Barnardo’s Scotland Fostering west service manager, Laura Hadley-Stove, said: “Our foster carers and adopters are changing children and young people’s lives for the better.

“You don’t have to be a saint or a superhero, you just need to be able to offer the loving care they need.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about fostering or adoption can get in touch with their local Barnardo’s foster care or adoption team. Barnardo’s Scotland supports foster carers and adopters every step of the way, so they don’t do it alone.

Find out more by calling Freephone 0800 0277 280 or visit the website at barnardos.org.uk/fosteringandadoption