Permanence foster care team

“This is a fantastic company to work for. Lots of support, superb training. Always someone on the end of the phone if needed.”

Welcome to the Swiis team covering permanent fostering across Scotland.

The Permanence Service started in 2010 and was set up in response to the national shortage of carers for children who require a permanent fostering placement. These children, generally aged between 4 and 12 years, cannot return to their birth family and are not considered appropriate for adoption. They need a ‘Family for Life’, in which they can settle, feel secure and develop their potential.

The Swiis Permanence Team offers multi-disciplinary support to carers, tailored to the individual needs of the child. We have an educational adviser, therapist and resource worker within the team, as well as experienced social workers. Currently we accept applications from within an hour’s drive from our Dunfermline office.

We are happy to consider single people, couples (with or without children) including gay, lesbian, transsexual or bisexual applicants. Many of the children referred to us have very complex needs and require a lot of individual attention, therefore, families with several young children may not be the best environment for them. We are also happy to discuss options with prospective carers and will answer questions as honestly as we can.

Who are the Permanence team?

Permanence Lothians Fostering Team Manager Paul Gaffney

Paul Gaffney

Team Manager

Having joined Swiis in 2013, Paul Gaffney’s background in social work is firmly established in the residential child care sector where he spent more than 10 years working directly with children and young people with social and emotional difficulties. Paul moved to independent fostering where he felt his experience and skills would be transferable to supervising and supporting foster carers to overcome challenges and give young people an opportunity to develop to their potential.

Permanence Foster Care Deputy Team Manager Ruth Caldwell

Ruth Caldwell

Deputy Team Manager

Ruth coordinates the supervision of staff and foster carers and has a background in social work, having being involved in the field for 28 years.

Her career in social work began as an art instructor, working alongside adults with learning difficulties, which subsequently led to coordinating an inclusion project and then a move into children and families. Ruth has fostered for nine years with a six-month period
in home care as a manager.

Supervising Social Workers

These are the people that offer help and support to our foster carers, meeting periodically to discuss problems, successes and everything in between.

Permanence Dundee Supervising Social Worker Jenny Arneil

Jenny Arneil

Permanence Kinross Supervising Social Worker Rosemary O'Donnell

Rosemary O’Donnell

Permanence Foster Care Supervising Social Worker Shirley Peden

Shirley Peden

Education Worker

The Education workers role is to promote achievement and attainment, continuity of learning and stability in educational placement for children in permanent foster placements.

Permanence Edinburgh Fostering Education Worker Anne-Marie Bourquin

Anne-Marie Bourquin

Resource Workers

Resource Workers play a key part in transforming and raising the aspirations of our young people. They offer emotional and practical support to safeguard and ensure smooth running of placements.

Permanence Fife Resource Worker Carol Nimmo

Carol Nimmo

Permanence Perth Resource Worker Neil Pitcaithly

Neil Pitcaithly

Support Group 

We have a lively support group for permanent carers which meets every two months in Dunfermline to ensure our carers have an opportunity to meet with staff and other carers for ongoing support. Periodic ‘Men in Foster Care’ meetings also take place.

We also have our Children Who Foster group. This is a support and activity group for our foster carers’ own children run by experienced staff. This group meets regularly and talks about experiences within the fostering family. It also allows the opportunity to share and discuss issues in a supportive environment.

Local initiatives:

We have excellent relationships with all local authorities throughout Scotland and work in partnership with them to provide the best possible permanent placements for children and young people. We also have strong links within the local communities with a focus on providing local placements for local children.

Permanence Scotland Foster Care Swiis


Opportunities for children and young people to achieve accredited awards is very important to us – it recognises their talents and skills:

  • Volunteering Skills Awards at levels 3 and 4
  • Personal Achievements Awards at levels 1 and 2
  • Sports Leader from Playmaker up to level 5
  • Hi5 Youth Scotland Awards

We have recently been awarded the Investors in Young People Good Practice Gold accreditation, as well as the Investors in People Platinum Award.

Specialist services 

We have experienced workers in the team, including social workers, an education adviser, therapist and resource workers. We offer consultation and support to carers and individual and group support to children, tailored to individual need. Attachment groups are offered for all our carers following placements, giving carers the skills required to make sense of the child’s behaviour and how best to respond positively to the challenges they face. If appropriate, our educational adviser and/or therapist can offer support to other professionals e.g. school staff. We also provide a range of training and consultation opportunities.

We operate a support carer scheme to encourage carers to nominate members of their family or support network who can be assessed to provide short breaks if required.

Regions covered

We can consider enquiries from potential carers from locations within one hour’s travel from the Dunfermline office. This includes:

Dundee | Edinburgh | Glasgow | Fife | Lanarkshire | Lothians | Perth and Kinross

We accept referrals of children from anywhere in Scotland.

View Care Inspectorate Report

Office Information


Glenelvan House
Enterprise Way
Carnegie Campus South
KY11 8PY


Director of Scotland
Social Workers
Placement Support Workers
Education Advisors
Resource Team
Business Manager
Administration Team

Ask a Question or Request a Call Back

Send a quick question to our foster carer recruitment team and they can email a reply or call you back.

How much is the fostering allowance? How often should I expect a placement? Ask away…