Sir, - I want to express my sincere thanks to all of the foster carers and families across Scotland as we mark The Fostering Network’s Foster Care Fortnight, June 1-14.

All children and young people have the right to be cared for and protected from harm, and to grow up in a safe environment. And we have worked hard with our partners across local government and the third sector to improve how we intervene early when there are concerns about a child’s well-being.

In the last year we have made significant progress to improve the support for looked after children and care leavers. Since April, 16 year olds have been able to stay with their foster carers up to the age of 21, should they request it. When they are ready to leave they are now entitled to aftercare support up to the age of 26, to offer a more gradual transition to independent living. Just as our own children experience.

We are also developing new guidance with the Scottish Child Law Centre so that foster carers better understand their legal responsibilities on the everyday decisions they need to make about the children they care for. We hope to publish this source of support in the summer.

Research clearly shows that good foster carers make a world of difference to the experience of children and young people growing up in care. They improve daily life; support progress in education; give stability and security; provide love and safety; build confidence and lay the foundations for a successful adult life.

The Scottish Government is proud to continue to support Foster Care Fortnight. We always need more foster carers and there are events taking place all across Scotland where families can find out more and judge if they are able to make the life-changing commitment to a child or young person who can no longer live with their own family.

Foster Care Fortnight reminds us of the huge difference so many carers and families make every single day for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children and young people. We all owe our respect and gratitude to them – they do a remarkable job helping to give children and young people a better start in life. - Yours etc., Fiona McLeod Acting Minister for Children and Young People New free booklet for carers Sir, - Many of your readers will have loved ones with pancreatic cancer, and as one of Pancreatic Cancer UK’s specialist nurses, I understand the devastating impact this brutal disease can have on families.

One person is diagnosed every hour and all too often very suddenly, plunging family members straight into a caring role, while they are still trying to come to terms with this shocking news. They may feel confused, isolated, and be unsure where to turn.

To mark Carers Week this week, 8-14 June, we are publishing a new, free booklet for carers and loved ones of people with pancreatic cancer. It explains what the disease is, how to manage symptoms and side effects, how to navigate the healthcare system, and includes details of support for carers too.

Your readers can download the booklet from our website, or order copies, from Monday (8th June). People can also speak to myself or one of my nurse colleagues on our freephone Support Line. For more information visit - Yours etc., Dianne Dobson Nurse Specialist Pancreatic Cancer UK Sale of Post Office shares Sir, - The writing was on the wall and this newly elected Conservative Government is completing what the previous Labour Government started, selling off another public service.

Shareholders will become more important than customers. The universal cost of stamps and delivery will no longer be protected as the driver will be about making profit not investing in the nations diminished, no longer to be public service. - Yours etc., Teresa McNally Alloa