Renfrewshire Council

Female student writing

Kathie's story: how becoming a Supported Carer helped a young person follow their dreams

Supported Carer Kathie says looking after a care-experienced young person has been one of the best things she has ever done.

I became a supported carer for Emily when she turned 18 years-old. Watching her grow over these last two years has given me a really good feeling. Emily has gone from strength to strength and I consider her my fourth daughter.

I got into supported care because I am a foster carer, but you don't need to have experience to become one. The supported carer team give you lots of support and training to help you whenever you need it.

In fact, I didn't even think I would be a good foster carer till my mum arranged an appointment on my behalf and they came to my house and told me I'd be an ideal candidate. Since then, I have never looked back. It's been an incredibly positive experience.

Emily has been with me since she was 12 years-old. She has always had the drive to succeed in life despite her biological family's situation. From a young age, Emily decided she wanted her life to be different and I've been able to provide that stable family home environment for her to do just that.

Sure, there have been tough times for Emily as she lost both her parents at a younger age than most people experience. Emotional support is a huge factor for supporting care-experienced young people, and you need to be able to give them a non-judgemental listening ear so they will open-up and talk to you about things going on in their life.

Since Emily turned 18, she has been paying her rent, she cleans her own room, she's at university studying law, she has a boyfriend, and she cooks for herself and us on occasion. Basically, she has come on leaps and bounds.

Emily is brilliant at saving her money. She knows what she wants, and she is going for it. I've been there any time she needed me, and we can talk about anything at all.

If you have a spare room, have the time, energy and patience to help, then speak to someone to see if it is for you. It can't hurt to have a chat about it.

How do I find out more?

Contact the Supported Carers Service on 0141 618 4531 to register your interest in becoming a Supported Carer. You can also visit the Supported Carers page on our website to find out more.

More on Kathie and Emily

We've changed Kathie and Emily's real names for their anonymity.

Published 20 November 2019.