Foster carers stories

Laura's story

Young girl sitting at desk with woman behind her helping her write

Foster carer Laura* shares her inspiring story of fostering with Edinburgh…

I have been a foster carer for over 20 years. A couple of years ago Abbi* came to live with me. She appeared to be a sad, angry little girl with no self- worth.  Myself and my extended family fell in love with Abbi very quickly… everything just seemed so natural. Abbi has really thrived in my care. She has become a very happy confident wee girl.

Abbi has additional needs which I know will become more challenging as she gets older.  I believe I understand Abbi well enough to respond in such a way that she will feel heard and understood, minimising escalation to distressing behaviours.  When Abbi is struggling, it is very important to be calm and understanding. Perhaps when she was living with her birth family, Abbi felt she needed to shout to be heard which then turned into a lot of anger and aggression within her home.  I can honestly say because of my approach to Abbi, I have never had any outbursts or violence.

Abbi has responded well to nurturing boundaries. She is eating well and sleeping well.  She is in bed and settled at eight o’clock every night, suggesting she feels settled and safe.  Abbi’s hygiene was very poor when she first came to live with me. She now takes pride in her appearance and appears more confident.  Abbi is very nurturing with the younger children in my care and my grandchildren. She is a very loving wee girl.

Abbi continues to see her birth family, and with other pressures alleviated, she is developing a positive bond with her grandparents.  I also have a great relationship with social work, school and all professionals who work with Abbi, so I feel if any problems arise I have a support network to support me in Abbi’s care going forward.  This will ensure she has the best chance to reach her full potential in a caring and loving home, it is intended that she continues to stay with me until adulthood.   I believe that she will benefit from the continued security and with her limited ability to make sense of change and uncertainty, she will benefit from not needing to experience another move. I am committed to giving her this.

The rewards for me are receiving a great deal of pleasure from seeing her grow and flourish into a lovely young lady and knowing I was a part of her journey.

*all names have been changed to protect privacy.

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