Hayley and Adam – TACT Foster Carers since 2017
Our own children were just 3 and 6 when we were approved as foster carers with TACT. We’d considered fostering since before the birth of our youngest, so it was something we’d put a lot of consideration into, but we never really had any concerns about fostering with young children of our own in the house. Our main motivations for becoming foster carers were for the love of children and that we felt we would be able to make a positive difference to a child’s life, and we felt that our daughters would be able to cope with that well.
The first placement we cared for was with an 11-year-old Pakistani Muslim girl. The fact that she was of a different ethnicity and religion to our own and us knowing very little about the Islam religion or culture did make us feel slightly apprehensive at first. However, we were able to make slight changes around the house such as altering our diets to Halal – doing things like this made a huge impact on making her feel more welcome and at ease amongst our family. During the 5 months she stayed with us, she was able to see what it was like to live in another culture, whilst we were able to learn a lot about the values of being a Muslim and what her religion meant to her. Our eldest daughter in particular loved dressing up in the sarees and trying new foods she hadn’t experienced before!
The support we’ve received from TACT throughout our fostering journey has been outstanding. We’ve utilised the support of other foster carers and accessed support groups which have been incredibly helpful, while there is always someone from TACT at the other end of the phone whenever we have needed it. The support provided is also extended to our daughters whenever it’s needed, as it’s recognised that fostering has a profound impact on all members of the household. There is always someone at the end of the phone 24/7, who can offer knowledge and guidance, whenever ourselves or our daughters should require.
What I love most about fostering is knowing that we are in a position to provide children who have had a difficult start in life with what they deserve and have a positive influence on their lives. There have been times where it’s been challenging to gain trust and build bonds with the children, but this is caused by their reluctance to trust adults at first because of the trauma or neglect they may have experienced previously. However, hopefully for them our house is a safe base which provides them with lots of love and happiness – despite the occasional chaos and ups and downs, it has certainly made us feel that way.
Our two daughters have loved our time fostering so far – the main thing they see is that there are different children who stay with us that they can enjoy playing with and have fun! However, fostering has also taught them to be more understanding of others and realise how lucky they are to have a stable, loving home. The children who we foster themselves benefit by immediately having young people who they can interact with when they come to us which often helps them to settle.
We have found fostering to be an extremely rewarding and enjoyable thing to do, both for us and for our daughters who have been brilliant at welcoming less fortunate children into our home. Our experience has been an excellent one and we feel privileged to be foster carers with TACT.