Andrew is a 17-year-old from East Dunbartonshire. He was placed in foster care when he was aged 13. Here is his story in his own words.
“My dad left my mum when I was a few months old so it was just me and my mum for a long time. We moved around a lot. My mum had a history of alcoholism. There was an incident where I woke up and my mum was not too well and I just had to sit and watch. I phoned an ambulance and then social work got involved and they moved me in with my foster carers. It took me a while to get used to it but I love it now.
“I felt quite sad that I wasn’t going to be living with my mum or my step-dad, who brought me up as well. My mum and step-dad broke up and he went to live on his own. There were a lot of empty spaces in my life which my foster carers helped me fill because they gave me everything I needed really. They made me feel happy.
“Everyone is always up at the house. It’s one of those houses where family never stops dropping in. I make tea for my foster mum – she says I make good tea. My foster dad and I like to do outdoor activities together like going walking, camping and fishing. We are planning on doing the West Highland Way.
“My foster dad is a bit of a joker. He’s always playing pranks. He is brilliantly stupid sometimes. He is not the type of person to sit around, he always has to be doing something.
“My relationship with them is very close. They are always trying to encourage me to do things for myself, like do my own cooking, I can do that now, although her cooking is the best. My foster dad encourages me to iron my own clothes. They are just trying to teach me to be able to live independently.
“Every day is always good with my foster parents but the thing that I always love is on a Sunday, whether it is warm or rainy, loads of family come up and my foster mum makes a massive steak pie and everyone is there and we all just eat together and watch TV. It’s not much, but it means a lot to me.
“I think they are proud of me for trying to do my own thing and go to college. They’ve seen how I’ve progressed over the years. They are proud of how far I am getting.
“I am grateful for the life they have given me. This has been the best life I could have hoped for.”