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Jan's story

Watching young people achieve things that others take for granted makes this whole process worthwhile.

November 24 2020 - 4 min read

Keen to break stigmas around single people not being able to foster, Jan wants to tell her fostering story in the hope that it encourages other single people to become foster carers.

Following a career as a social worker for the local authority, where Jan helped adults with learning difficulties, Jan first began fostering with FCA Scotland in 2011. Asked why she first considered fostering, Jan said:

“I’d been considering a career change for a few years as I was tired of spending so much time away from home with my social care job. However I wanted to continue caring for vulnerable people. I also had a three bedroom home to myself! So with plenty of space to offer those in need a home, fostering seemed like a great choice. I was cautious initially, so I chose to take a two year career break rather than formally quitting, just in case it didn’t work out. Luckily, it’s worked out brilliantly, and I never did end up returning to that job!”

Since 2011, Jan has fostered four children in total. Two long-term placements and two on short-term arrangements. Jan is currently fostering one young boy with special needs, who has been in her care for four years. She has recently applied for permanency, and if granted, this would mean that he will stay with Jan until he’s 21.

“The young boy that I’m currently caring for has multiple special needs. At the start it was the saddest case that I’ve taken on. At almost eight years old, he was unable to carry out basic tasks such as holding a knife and fork and communicating with peers.  I saw the potential in him from the get go though, and home schooled him for six months, as school was very difficult for him. We weren’t given the option of SEN (Special Educational Needs) schools, and his mainstream schools placements broke down because of his ADHD and other learning difficulties.

Discussing specific challenges encountered as a foster carer so far, Jan said:

“Gaining the trust of the child is always difficult, particularly because all children remain loyal to their families regardless of circumstance. It is important not to take anything too personally during this initial phase, and to help the young person learn to manage their feelings and actions.”

“Of course, the highlights have far outweighed any challenges that I’ve come up against. Watching young people break their own boundaries, shock themselves and discover a new kind of self-belief because of this is amazing to see. Watching young people achieve things that others take for granted makes the whole process worthwhile.”

If you are interested in finding out more about foresting, why not contact a member of our team for an initial chat. You can call us on 0141 646 4805. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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