EAST Renfrewshire residents are being urged to respond to an urgent appeal for foster carers.

A recruitment drive has been launched by youth care charity Kibble after it warned there will be a surge in vulnerable children going into foster care as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Experts at Paisley-based Kibble said the coronavirus crisis will increase levels of trauma, financial turmoil and poor mental health suffered by young people.

A report from the Scottish Government's Independent Care Review last month said vulnerable children may be at higher risk of harm and neglect due to high stress home environments and will have less access to professional help during lockdown.

It is hoped that people in East Renfrewshire will do their bit to help by offering to become a foster carer.

Neil McMillan, head of community services at Kibble, told the Barrhead News: "What's important to remember is that, while everything else is on pause, children and young people still need to be cared for and what we're expecting to see is an increase in the number of placements needed.

"Across the UK, there is a constant need for new foster care families and this demand has only become more intense as one of a vast number of knock-on effects that the virus is likely to have.

"We've seen tremendous efforts across the UK, with more than half a million people volunteering to support the NHS. What we hope is that, as people start to think about how they can embrace their caring side after the pandemic, they consider opening their home to a young person in need."

As a result of lockdown, Kibble has set up a virtual system for the ongoing support it provides to its foster carers.

Mr McMillan added: "It takes a special kind of person to be a foster carer.

"Our carers come from various walks of life and we provide an incredible amount of support and training along the way but the one thing they all have in common is the want and need to give a young person a chance at life."

For more details about becoming a foster carer, visit here.