NORTH Ayrshire Council has become the first in the UK to make fostering accessible to anyone – regardless of the size of their home.

Currently, all potential foster carers must prove they have a spare bedroom before they can even be considered.

However at their latest meeting NAC elected members unanimously agreed to become the first local authority in the country to open up Foster Care opportunities for all.

Speaking at the start of Foster Care Fortnight, Councillor Robert Foster said: “This is a really important day for North Ayrshire Council.

“We are delighted this motion received cross-party support.

“We are serious about making a real difference to our care experienced young people.

“The system doesn’t work so it’s up to us to find new ways of having a positive impact.

“Historically, when someone first applies to become a foster carer, the first question they’re asked isn’t ‘what is your knowledge on child attachment’, or ‘what experience you have of helping children deal with trauma in their life’.

“It isn’t even ‘whether you can provide a loving and nurturing environment’, the first question is, generally, ‘do you have a spare room?’ Everything else comes after.

“We need to create more foster carers who can provide a loving and caring environment and we need to remove the barriers that are currently stopping them.”

“We have to change this.

“We need to be more flexible.

“We need to take a bold step, to be the outlier, to be the council that leads change for these children, but more importantly be the council that cares.”

Bruce Adamson, Scotland’s Children and Young People’s Commissioner, said: “I’m also pleased that North Ayrshire Council is making other practical changes such as ending the practice of removing children and young people from education to attend Children’s Hearings.

“I’m also pleased to see such clear commitments to protect the right to an adequate standard of living by supporting potential foster families to access housing.”