Foster carers stories

Sandra and Sam's story

Sandra and Sam

Sandra* has been a carer with Foster with Edinburgh for over 10 years. She shares her experience of being a foster carer. Sam*, now 16, has lived with Sandra since he was 6 years old. Here are their stories..

Sandra's story

Why did you decide to become a carer?
I was working in a holiday centre and many foster children came on holiday there.  They seemed to group together, and I realised that because it was expected that they would behave badly e.g. breaking pool cues, kicking machines, they did behave badly. I felt that they were misunderstood. They just needed someone to believe in them. I felt that I fitted the bill, and that is why I wanted to become a foster carer.

How did you find the process of becoming a foster carer?
The training and home visits encouraged me to think of my past and all aspects of my childhood. 1 found it very enlightening to recall growing up and I remembered things that I had long since forgotten. Through the training, it became evident that my childhood was the complete opposite of a child in care.  

What did it feel like the day you were approved as a foster carer?
It took around 8 months to reach the day I went in front of the panel. Everyone was very friendly but I found it quite nerve-wracking all the same. I was very emotional when I was approved.

Tell us about the children you foster?
My first placement arrived around 3 weeks after being approved and I was so happy. I met with my social worker and we went shopping for all the equipment this child would need i.e. cot bed, pram, high chair etc.
I am now a permanent Foster Carer for a boy aged 16, and he has been with me for over 9 years. I have now been fostering for over 10 years.  

How do you feel you have make a difference by being a foster carer?
It was as if my boy has found his wee corner of the world and this was where he was meant to be. But change happens when we least expect it, and my husband died suddenly, 6 weeks after my boy came to stay with us.  He stayed with me throughout everything though.  He legally changed his surname to mine which made me so very proud. He is, and always has been, part of my family. I would be lost without him.  He means everything to me.

How does the Foster with Edinburgh team support you?
Support is only ever a phone call away, and if I have any problems, I feel there is always someone there to listen and guide me.

What would you say to anyone thinking of becoming a foster carer?
It is the best decision I have ever made and I would urge anyone thinking about it, to just “go for it”.

Sam’s Story  

What’s it been like being in a foster family?
I don’t feel that I am in a foster family. I feel I belong to this family.

What makes a good foster carer?

How has Sandra helped you?
I have learned to swim, ride a bike, been to Judo and lots of other stuff.  Sandra has encouraged me all the way.

What do you want to do when you get older?
I hope to go to college next year.

“All names have been anonymised to protect identities 

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