Bob and Denise Watson – Barnardo’s Scotland Foster Carers

Bob and Denise Watson – Barnardo’s Scotland Foster Carers

Off By Ed Hanna

Former Royal Navy Petty Officer Bob Watson has been a Barnardo’s Scotland Foster Carer, along with his wife Denise, for the past 26 years, they also fostered with Fife council for 7 years.

Bob joined the Royal Navy in 1975 at HMS Ganges in Shotley Gate Ipswich.  His career path took him through Marine engineering training where he then joined his first ship the HMS intrepid to do further training, from here he joined HMS Tiger and over the next 22 years served on HMS Hermes, HMS Norfolk, HMS Guardian in the Falklands, HMS Achilles and finally the HMS Middleton.  Bob left the Royal Navy in May 1997.

Over the past 32 years Bob & Denise have cared for around 39 children and young people, ranging from long term, short term, and short break foster care.  They have fostered brothers and sisters, as well as individual children from birth to 17 years old.  The couple also cared for a girl who had a baby of her own. 

Whilst being honest that fostering can be challenging at times, the couple feel that there has never been a particular age group that they preferred caring for, finding getting the correct resources and facilities for the children in their care their number one priority.

Bob feels that his Royal Navy career has helped provide him with some essential skills when it comes to fostering, over the years he learnt to keep a clear head under stressful situations and not to panic, he also feels the man management skills he learnt have benefitted his fostering role.

Bob & Denise are keen to champion what they believe is right for the young people they care for and make the child’s life better and more fulfilled.  Bob’s advice is “when it feels like you’re getting nowhere fast, just keep going and eventually when you do get there and the child’s life is improved because of your determination, it is a great feeling, and it all becomes more than worth it”.

For Bob & Denise the most rewarding part about fostering is always that although these children have not had the best start in life, they have been able to at least try to give them a better life and the secure, loved feeling they deserve, whilst they were with them.