David and Emma offer children a beacon of hope

Foster carers David and Emma


Photograph by Mike Wilkinson

Foster carers David and Emma Photograph by Mike Wilkinson

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Every 20 minutes a child in the United Kingdom needs a foster family. So, thank goodness for people like David Murphy and his wife Emma.

To highlight Foster Care Fortnight, which started on Monday, and to encourage others to join David and Emma, we caught up with the family. Since they began fostering, they have had three long-term placements and offered respite care to three other 
children.

David and Emma have six children between them. David said: “We’ve been fostering now for just short of five years. We are very family-centred and we decided we had space in our lives to give a child the opportunities our own children have, like going on camping holidays, hillwalks, staying in log cabins, that kind of thing.”

The couple contacted Midlothian Council and began the process of training to be foster carers. David added: “You don’t really know what’s involved until you go to the preparation groups. The good thing about the process is that they (the family placement team) give you the warts and all view.

“By the time you are finished you don’t really know when you’ll get your first placement but you’re really keen to get started with the support of your social worker.”

David, who is supported by the family placement team and offered regular training, thoroughly recommends fostering. He said: “The reward is seeing a child developing and becoming part of a family unit. One of the best experiences was when the boy, who was our second long-term placement, changed from being a wee boy with patchy attendance at school to a boy who loved going to school and achieved 100 per cent attendance. Once we put boundaries in and routines like bed by half past seven, he became part of the family unit.”