It is Foster Care Fortnight 2019 and I want to thank foster carers who on any given day, are looking after more than 5,000 of Scotland’s children. Children whose mums or dads, no matter how much they may love them, are not able to look after them. Your unwavering commitment to providing the very best possible care, has taught me more than anything else.
A foster carer who looks after a young boy recently said to me: ‘People say: “he’s lucky to have you.” But the truth is, I’m lucky to have him.’
As director for The Fostering Network in Scotland, I have the wonderful privilege of meeting foster carers on an almost daily basis and I know that the above sentiments are shared by foster families across Scotland.
As foster carers, you see strengths and a positive future for each and every child who enters your home. You passionately believe that every child needs a champion, to show them love, to support them, to ‘have their back’, to believe in them, and to encourage the chasing of dreams. You give all of this and more, along with warmth and laughter, safety and routines, opportunities and choices.
You open your hearts and your homes to children of all ages and at every stage of their development; to children who long to return to their birth family; You welcome children with uncertain futures with warmth and a smile and you strive to offer support and stability to children who arrive at short notice at all hours of the day or night regardless of how long they will remain with you. You can’t undo a child’s pain but you strive to be part of the healing.
Your patience is your strength, and your sense of humour and positive thinking is your lifeline. You share laughter and hugs and warmth and love. You see children grow and flourish and you know that small steps are a huge victory. You create opportunities for children and young people to hold their heads up high and be proud of who they are. You give children the opportunity to keep being a child. You help each child and young person find hope.
As we celebrate Foster Care Fortnight 2019, and the theme #changeafuture, I want to personally thank all of Scotland’s foster carers for the incredible difference you and your children have made, and continue to make, to every child and young person who comes into your home. I want to also thank those children and young people who have come to live with you and enriched your lives and changed your futures in ways you probably never could have imagined.
Director of The Fostering Network in Scotland