She didn't know she'd made a difference

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On the final Saturday of Foster Care Fortnight 2013 Joanne, a foster carer from Scotland, wants to share her story of how she wasn't aware that she had made a difference until she received a surprise through her door.

"A few weeks ago, just before Christmas, I received a hand delivered card through the door. It was from a young lady now a mum herself in her twenties. She had been placed with me on a short term basis when she was 15 and she stayed for six years.

"I didn't think that in that time that I had managed to make much difference to her as she was already well on her way to adulthood .

"We saw her return to school and leave with qualification having become a prefect. She passed her driving test and had also saved, and paid, for her own trip to China with the school.

"But in all honesty I didn't think she and I had built a close relationship.

"I was proud of her achievements and of her but didn't really feel that I knew her very well until that card arrived.

"In it she told me for the first time just what having the security and stability of a family home had meant to her, being with people who didn't judge her and allowed her to make her own decisions and mistakes, and knowing we were always there with advice but not demands. She said that it was just what she needed.

"These words sum up to me just what it is to be a foster carer, some young people need a mother figure, some just need support and security. Each one has different needs and difficulties but under all the problems that walk through our door each one is still just a child needing help, for however long.

"Being a foster carer, to me, is absolutely the best job in the world."