Jon and Jules Davison from Inverurie, Scotland decided to foster after their children had all grown up and left home; “we are still healthy and fit and lead an outdoor lifestyle; we had extra space in the house and felt we had more to give.”
Once they decided to become foster carers they applied to three agencies, Jules recalls: “within two hours of making contact with Barnardo’s Scotland Fostering, they had responded to me and shortly after that had arranged an appointment to come and meet both of us. The charity has a good website and we like their professionalism. We made our initial contact through the website, they picked it up and turned it around in a very short time which we thought was very impressive, and so based on their response it was a fairly easy decision for us to start our fostering career with Barnardo’s Scotland.”
The Davisons' have been fostering a young boy since March 2014 and find the most rewarding part of fostering is “seeing anger and resentment melt away from being passed from carer to carer, seeing him relax and becoming more content”. The difference Jon and Jules make with simple acts of kindness allows their foster child to feel loved and supported; “when we bought him a new puppy he said ‘this is the best thing that has ever happened to me’, he paused and said ‘no, the best thing that has happened to me is being with you two’, when a child says that to you – it makes it all worthwhile”.
Jules advises that education, consistency, clear boundaries and good values are key elements to start a healthy fostering experience; “I would be lying if I said fostering was easy, it has its challenges, you have to be resilient, you have to accept the system can be very slow at times, but Barnardo’s Scotland takes on a lot of the background work and are very reassuring. Anyone considering becoming a foster carer should expect some ups and downs, we’ve had our stormy days and sunny days, but Barnardo’s Scotland has been right by our side, very supportive, we can’t praise them highly enough”.
Foster carers make a huge difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people, and Barnardo’s in Scotland needs people like Jon and Jules to provide stable, loving homes.