Natalie’s 100 Voices Story
Natalie shares her experience of Scottish Adoption & Fostering as part of our 100 Voices campaign.
I am a social worker, mother of birth and adopted children and a foster carer, caring for children with complex emotional and health needs.
I heard about Scottish Adoption whilst working as a social worker in local authority teams and knew that I wanted to work in adoption one day. I remember applying for 3 different vacancies, the first two times it was for the family placement team and I didn’t get the job. So I started to work for another local authority working in Kinship care, which was a job I loved.
Unfortunately during 2020 Covid started and our then 10 year old foster son was diagnosed with Leukemia. My employer was amazing and let me take time off to juggle hospital and the other children at home and focus on getting him through treatment. When I returned to work they allowed me to do so part time but as with all things, this could not be extended and I returned to working fulltime hours in early 2021.
With the needs of all our children, including the significantly increased needs of our then 11 year old due to complications from his treatment, I could not sustain working fulltime. It was fortunate that Scottish Adoption were recruiting for a part time senior practitioner in after adoption. I applied, and 3rd time lucky, was offered the job.
Since joining the After Adoption team in September 2021 I have learnt so much and used all my skills and experience as a social worker and foster carer. I have also ‘dabbled’ in the family placement team, taking on some families at various stages of the adoption process and supporting them through to Adoption Orders being granted.
Working at Scottish Adoption has been an amazing experience, the work is varied and so rewarding when you see families being created and those who are struggling work through things and become stronger. The focus is always on what is best for the child and having the opportunity to work directly with children in a therapeutic way is why many people enter into social work and I am so thankful to be part of a team who do just that.