Darren and Susan have been fostering with us since 2015. We spoke to them about their decision to start fostering and how they found their fostering journey with Care Visions Fostering Scotland.
Darren and Susan had thought about having their own kids, but after looking into fostering they felt that being foster parents could perhaps be the best choice for them. They'd always loved caring for kids, whether it be their nieces and nephews or family friends, they felt drawn to caregiving from the get-go.
Darren had a wealth of experience with young people from his days of working in leisure and Susan had also worked in leisure before starting her career in the Police. Through their work, they had found a desire to provide the care and comfort that our young people need. These attributes had contributed to their decision to start fostering. When they started their journey, Darren was 33 years old, with Susan being 28. This may seem young to start fostering, but they decided to investigate the process and see whether it could work for them.
It can be intimidating to get started on your fostering journey as it means taking an idea and figuring out the best way to turn it into a reality for potential carers.
"We looked into different agencies, but immediately our experience felt a little bit chaotic. It almost made us rethink our decision, but then we found Care Visions Fostering Scotland. It just seemed positive and there was a lot of good feedback. When we looked through the website, our decision was made, and we knew this was the agency to go with."
"We were invited to Skills to Foster, which we enjoyed. It was a good insight into the ups and downs of fostering and cemented the idea of fostering being the right choice for us."
"We went into the assessment to see whether we'd be ideal foster carers and from there, we've reached where we are now. It's a lot of hard work, particularly when you don't have kids of your own, but it's all worth it. We treat every child who comes to stay with us as if they are our own, we throw in 100% of ourselves - exactly how we imagine we'd treat our own children if we had them. That's where the nurturing comes from."
"We always make sure and get them settled by telling them that this is their home, and this is where they can feel safe. We give them as much love and attention as possible and we just don't see it as a job. It's more of a way of life. We're just a family."
“At times we feel that we have had to be advocates as well as carers for the children we look after. This can be for day-to-day things such as more support in school – it can also be for longer-term plans to try and shape the children’s future.”
Over five years on and we're proud to say that Darren and Susan are still fostering with us. Fostering was ultimately the best choice for their family and they continue to provide the very best care to the extraordinary young people who live with them.