Glasgow foster carers who have dedicated more than 800 years in total to looking after children have been honoured.
Tributes were paid to the city’s longest serving foster carers who have given thousands of children, from babies to teenagers, loving homes.
At a special ceremony in the city chambers, Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, thanked the foster carers for their selfless commitment to the city’s most vulnerable children.
The guests of honour were presented with boxed crystal glasses and certificates in recognition of their dedication, before enjoying tea and cakes.
Four Glasgow households have been fostering for more than 40 years; four have been fostering for over 35 years, 12 have been fostering for over 30 years and six have been fostering for over 25 years.
Gina and Tommy Scott of Pollok have been fostering for over 35 years - caring for at least 110 young people as well as their own four children.
Gina said: “We’ve lost count of the number of children we’ve fostered. We stopped counting after 110. We’ve looked after all ages - from babies to teenagers. Some children lived with us for a few weeks, while others have been with us for years.
“It has been an emotional rollercoaster, but it is very rewarding and there’s a lot of fun, laughs and happiness along the way. Our own children loved it when they were young and we still get phone calls from our foster children who have grown up and have their own families now. It is very satisfying when you see how well they have done in life.”
Margaret Green has 38 years foster care experience - 30 in Glasgow and eight in Coventry - and has cared for several sick children.
She said: “You see a child grow in confidence and begin to hold their head high when they realise that someone thinks they are important. Myself and my late husband Ted cared for one child that doctor’s thought would never walk. We did daily physio and exercises with them and it was wonderful when they eventually took their first steps.
“Our foster children were treated no differently to our own two children and soon called us mum and dad too. There have been plenty of tears, but also a lot of fun, happiness and laughs. We had some wonderful Christmases and I’m still in touch with children who have gone on to enjoy their own homes, happy relationships and jobs.”
Councillor Aitken said it was difficult to describe the debt of gratitude that Glasgow owes its army of over 500 foster caring households.
She added: “It is vital that our care experienced young people have the same opportunities and aspirations as other children. Many of you have made sacrifices to provide better futures for some of the city’s most vulnerable young people.
“I’m delighted that we are recognising the incredible contribution you have made to their lives and I’d like to thank you for your dedication, which has meant so much to so many.”
Find out more about fostering in Glasgow from Families for Children Foster Glasgow