If there is one thing which can be said about Scotland, the entire UK in fact, it would be that there is a real need for devoted foster carers. According to some of the latest statistics, there are more than 14,000 children in the care system as reported by the Care Inspectorate, with some estimates stating that very many biological siblings are separated in care because of the lack of foster carers able to take multiple children or within a given district. So then, let us begin there. What does life look like through the eyes of a foster carer who is meeting such a great need?
A Sense of Fulfilment
One of the very first things many foster carers will readily admit is that they never realised just how fulfilling it would be to have children in their care. Knowing that there is such a great need and the main reason that so many children are placed in care is because of neglect, watching them open up and bloom is a heart-warming experience.
When many carers first questioned how to become a foster carer, the need was apparent, but not the magnitude of that need. During the 6-step process that led to them being registered as a foster carer they began to learn just how great that need was. However, once they began experiencing the joy and healing taking place in the children in their care it was like reaching that proverbial pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Their reward was like seeing the sun peep out after a long and turbulent storm for many of those children.
Hope for the Future
Almost 40 years ago, an American pop diva began what is probably one of her most remembered #1 hits on Billboard magazine, The Greatest Love of All. The song fittingly began, “I believe the children are our future…” and that really says it all. It’s one of the driving sentiments among foster carers.
By giving children in care a sense of love and security, many will face their future with hope. They are no longer trapped by circumstances in life that gave them little promise. This, in turn, is reflected in the eyes of their carers.
There is no doubt that the generations coming up are, indeed, the future. Seeing them filled with hope is rewarding to anyone witnessing the catharsis from cocoon to butterfly. This newfound hope is the wings of liberation from that which was dark and uncertain to a world of light and beauty.
An End and a New Beginning
Upon reaching an end to all that darkness and uncertainty in their young lives, many of the children in care now have a new beginning. They are given the strength and compassion so very necessary at any stage of their development. Facing a future that is bleak gives them little impetus to strive for anything of value.
But, once the sun comes out from behind the clouds they can visualise the path before them. That’s what viewing life is like through the eyes of a foster carer – hope for the future for those children in their care and for the world in which we all live. There truly is hope in tomorrow.