Alana and Sarah were approved as foster carers with FCA Scotland in February 2018.
Sarah and Alana moved out of their two bedroom flat into a three bedroom house which encouraged them to consider fostering, although the couple had the desire to foster children for many years. Alana explains; “As soon as we had the appropriate space in our home, we were very eager to begin the fostering process with FCA Scotland and haven’t looked back since!”
Sarah’s parents fostered children which meant that Sarah had a deeper understanding of fostering; Sarah explains; “Growing up within a fostering background and having friends who were fostered really opened my eyes to fostering and is part of the reason I wanted to do it myself. I had friends who came from troubled backgrounds, and to see where they have taken their lives and how well they are doing is so encouraging to see.”
Sarah adds; “I’d say I've always been the type of person that loves to help, so when the time was right, we both made the decision to take up fostering, and we haven't looked back since!”
Sarah and Alana believe it is the support they receive from their friends, family and FCA Scotland which has made all the difference to their journey so far; “We get a lot of support from Alana's side of the family who don’t live far away. We also get lots of support from Sarah’s mum, who fostered for over 20 years. She is extremely knowledgeable and understanding and the support from FCA Scotland has also been incredible for us.”
Sarah continues; “The supervising social worker that we have at FCA Scotland has been so amazing. We have been through some challenges with our current young person, and luckily, our supervising social worker has a lot of experience with children with disabilities, which has really helped us along our journey. More than anything, it's having a reliable source of support to rely on which has been extremely beneficial for us.”
However, before becoming foster carers, Alana and Sarah had considered the potential prejudices surrounding being same sex foster carers, as Sarah explains: “Fortunately, Alana and I have been very lucky as we have not faced any prejudice due to us being a same sex couple. Alana does have a son of her own whom we had a lot of great experience parenting together, and during that time we didn’t face any prejudices which is great. This set us in good stead when we came to fostering children.”
Alana and Sarah have taken care of four young people in total, including two children on short break fostering in 2019 and in 2021, which the couple have enjoyed immensely, and they are currently looking after an 18 year old young adult.
Sarah explains that one of the most standout moments during the couple’s journey so far is more recently, when the couple took a child they were looking after on short break on holiday with their family. She added: “We had her for a couple of days and she opened up to us and as a person who didn't really like human contact very much, she was asking for hugs and wanted that connection and closeness with us. Both young people had never been on holiday before either, so it was a great experience for them both. We all had such a great time, and everyone was so happy, it was really rewarding to see.”
Alana continues; “The young person who we look after on a short-term basis now calls us her aunties! She now lives not far from us and we have been asked to be her regular short break carers which is really special to have that kind of impact on a young person. This is the reason why we came into fostering!”
Being a same sex foster couple, Alana and Sarah have the following advice for LGBTQI+ individuals who are considering fostering; “Go for it! Why not? If it is something that you have wanted to do, there is nothing stopping you. Do your research and decide on who you are going to foster with. There are also social media groups full of local foster carers where you can gain some useful advice. Being in a same sex relationship should not hold you back at all!”
Thinking about starting your fostering journey?
24/7 local support, excellent ongoing training and competitive allowances are just a few of the reasons why you should choose FCA Scotland for your fostering journey.
“It is not a job or career; it is a way of life. It is not for everybody but if you dip your toes in and you like it, run with it”
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We sit down with foster carer couple Anne and Chris to find out more about their story, including how many children they’ve fostered and their favourite memory in the last 10 years of fostering with FCA Scotland.