Stewart Duncan, a foster carer from Scotland, has blogged about his experiences for the Foster Care Fortnight celebration of fostering in Scotland day.
"Along with my wife Sharon, I have been a Foster Carer with the City of Edinburgh Council for over fifteen years. We started fostering after having our son Nathan and initially were involved in Share the Care and Respite.
"They say time passes quickly when you are enjoying yourselves and it certainly feels that way when I look back and then consider that we have welcomed over sixty young people into our home and our family.
"I would not say that it has all been plain sailing, however we enjoy every challenge that comes into our lives, as a matter of course, and therefore have, if not welcomed, certainly overcome every challenge that has faced us in Fostering –and then come back for more!
"In our early days we discovered that as a fostering family we could at times feel quite insular and find ourselves marginalised, it was therefore fundamental to our success that we initially joined together with other carers in forming a local association before subsequently being ‘signed up’ to the Fostering Network as corporate members through CEC.
"Whilst we have benefited greatly from varied training initiatives undertaken by our service provider, the Fostering Network has filled in the gaps and helped not only us and our own son to understand the exigencies of ‘being looked after and accommodated’ but also the young people who have lived with us.
"I am a member of the Scottish Advisory Committee with the Fostering Network and have first-hand knowledge of the work done in the educational and political spheres of fostering – work which should never be underestimated.
"As a Charitable body the Fostering Network relies on funding from a variety of sources and as such I have had the pleasure of trekking with colleagues, to Machu Picchu and Nepal, to raise much needed money.
"Once again the Fostering Network are at the forefront of Foster Care Fortnight and we would like to offer our wishes for every success."