Foster carers share their 'rewarding' 18 year journey amid call for homes

Figures show the number of homes in Scotland have declined since 2022.

Scots foster carers share their ‘rewarding’ 18 year journey amid call for homes FCA Scotland

A North Ayrshire couple who have been foster care parents for nearly two decades are urging people to “make a difference” amid a decline in the number of foster care households in Scotland.

Foster Care Associates Scotland (FCA) figures show that in December 2022 there were 3,261 approved foster care households, down 4.8% from 3,426 in 2021 with the numbers “continuing to fall”.

Mary and Billy Black, who have been foster parents for nearly two decades, say they keep in touch with the now independent adults they fostered.

The couple currently care for a 15-year-old girl who has lived with them for nine years alongside her two siblings who have since moved out of their care and started their own families.

The pair both had children from other partners but didn’t have the chance to bring up a family together.

Billy said: “You’re not going to get a ‘perfect’ child. It’s a challenging job, but it’s a very rewarding one.

“Your foster children may not be well equipped to receive the love and care you are giving them and so it’s very important to be patient and be able to support them in the right way.

“I decided that it was a good career choice for me. I felt that we could really help the children and make a difference in their lives.

“Get all the relevant information about fostering, ensure you have done your research, speak to people about it, and get as much support as you can.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve done since the beginning of our fostering journey, it’s a very rewarding job and we’ve seen the rewards.

“I think we’ve done something worthwhile and have been able to give back to our community.”

Mary said: “We were both working full-time and had a good life but we always felt that there was something we could offer. We thought we could be a good parenting team.”

She recalls the relationship with one boy previously in their foster care for eight years, adding: “As a foster carer, you build a long-lasting relationship with the child.

“We are still in contact with him after all these years and we are always there to support him when he needs it.

“He remains a member of our family and comes along for Christmas Day and family events.

“We helped these children build up their self-esteem and fit into the world, a journey which was made easier by the support of our social workers, therapists, and the team at FCA Scotland.

“We would highly recommend them as a fostering agency.”

FCA Scotland provides consistent support, guidance, training and development to all their foster carers to help manage challenges and ensure they deliver the highest quality of care.

For more information about fostering, visit FCA Scotland’s website:

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