Nicola Sturgeon has revealed that she is actively considering becoming a foster parent having stepped down as Scotland’s first minister and returned to Holyrood’s backbenches.
The former SNP leader said she would have to think “long and hard” about the decision, inspired by her experiences of meeting children who have previously been in care.
Writing in the Daily Record newspaper on Tuesday, she said her conversations with care-experienced young people while first minister had become lodged “firmly in my heart”.
“These conversations would often bring me to tears. I heard from young people who had been separated from their brothers and sisters when taken into care – in some cases losing touch completely.
“I heard of suicides and attempted suicides. I heard about the use of physical restraint in children’s homes.
“I heard from young people about how worthless it made them feel to be sent to ‘respite’ while their foster family went on holiday. I heard about feelings of isolation and loneliness.”
Ms Sturgeon said she would work from the backbenches to ensure that the Scottish Government keeps “The Promise” it made to children in care in 2020.
The aim of the policy is to ensure that all care-experienced children grow up “loved, safe, and respected”, with a series of initiatives in place to ensure this happens by 2030.
Ms Sturgeon, who stepped down earlier this year and has been replaced by Humza Yousaf, first mentioned she was considering fostering in a magazine interview in October 2021.
On her own plans for fostering, she wrote: “I have spoken before about the possibility of fostering myself in future.
“Obviously, that is something I must think long and hard about, but it was hearing about the impact good foster care can have in the life of a child that motivated me to even consider it.”
In an interview with Vogue magazine in 2021 while she was still first minister, Ms Sturgeon said that she and her husband, Peter Murrell, had discussed the possibility of becoming foster parents in the future.
“I’ve become really involved in, and passionate about, improving the opportunities for young people who grew up in care and in the future, post-politics, fostering children may be something we would think about,” she said at the time.
“It’s something my husband and I have only scratched the surface of talking about.”