NICOLA Sturgeon has revealed that becoming a foster parent is something she “must think long and hard about” as she described her “burning” duty to help care-experienced young people.

Writing for the Daily Record, the former first minister said her voice would be heard “loudly and clearly” if promises made to children in care are not met.

In her article, she said: “There are few, if any, encounters lodged more firmly in my heart than those I had with young people who were, or had been, in the care ‘system’.

“These conversations could 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.

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“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.”

During her resignation speech in February, Sturgeon said she would continue to champion care-experienced young people to ensure they “grow up nurtured and loved”.

She added: “I was persuaded that the ‘system’ – despite the best efforts of the dedicated men and women who work kin it – was broken.

“We – government, society – too often let our most vulnerable children down at the time they need us most.”

Sturgeon has previously said that “fostering children may be something [her and her husband] would think about” once she stepped out of the public eye.

In her Record column, 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.”

She said that her successor Humza Yousaf was “as committed to The Promise” as I am”.

The Promise was published by the Independent Care Review in 2020 and the Scottish Government signed up to the actions within it to help protect care experienced children and young people.

Sturgeon added: “If I ever get the sense that government is not prioritising the change it (The Promise) demands, I will say so – loudly and clearly.

“My promise – for as long as I live – is to be a voice for those in care or at risk of care, and to do everything I can to make sure all young people grow up surrounded by love.”