Maria and John have been foster carers with FCA Scotland for 9 years. When they initially enquired Maria was working in commercial sales and John was a firefighter. Maria was 28 at the time and wondered whether we’d think she was too young to become a foster carer. (FCA Scotland has a lower age limit of 21 years old and there is no upper age limit).
The couple had been considering fostering for some time before they decided to progress with their enquiry. Maria and John had some insight into what was involved as they had friends who were FCA Scotland carers who were happy to discuss this with them. Their friends also offered guidance, support, explained what’s involved in the assessment process and also about the amount of support FCA Scotland offers to all carers. They were very encouraging.
Maria explained: “from the first day the team at FCA Scotland were supportive and understanding of our situation and allowed us to move at our own pace providing us with all the support, help and advice we needed. Our allocated social worker started visiting us at home to complete our assessment and talk us through what was expected of us as foster carers and how it could impact our life.
When we were approved our first placement was for a pregnant teenager who needed to be protected and supported. When the baby arrived we supported her to care for the baby. She eventually moved on to live with the baby independently – they still live in the same area which means we continue to have regular contact with them and they’re both doing really well.
We then had 2 siblings placed with us aged 5 and 6 years – that was a challenging placement and very different from a parent & child placement. The longer term plan was they would move on which we knew was going to be a challenge for us! We knew we’d be able to offer stability, security and a great deal of care, support and guidance whilst they were with us.
Two teenagers followed; one was a young person with a learning disability who we supported on to college and a work placement, that has now moved on to supported living, the other young person has now been with us for 7 years and he’s progressed beyond everyone’s expectations.
Since becoming foster carers 9 years ago we’ve also had our own 2 children and John continues in his role as a firefighter. Our extended family are supportive and it’s important that young people feel part of the entire family; this offers them a positive family experience, love, attention, stability and makes them feel safe. We still feel a bit of nervous excitement when we’re waiting for our next placement but we don’t underestimate how much worse this must be for the young person coming into a strange place. What we do know is that we can make a positive and lasting difference to a young person’s life.
Whilst each day can be challenging it’s also rewarding. You’re always learning and motivated by the knowledge that you’re making such a difference to young people. If you’re considering a career in fostering, I’d say – go for it! FCA Scotland treat you as a professional, and your confidence will increase as you attend meetings to advocate on behalf of the young people placed with you. FCA Scotland offer support groups, monthly activities, training, family support and SVQ qualifications as well as team parenting meetings, the level of support offered from FCA Scotland is brilliant.”
If you would like some more information to help you decide whether fostering is for you all you need to do is contact us.
Call us on 0141 646 4805 (lines open Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm)
Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we’re here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.
Outside of these hours please call 0800 434 6000. Freephone lines open Mon to Thurs – 5pm to 8pm.