Carol – TACT Foster Carer since 2006
“I saw the importance of foster families when I was at school. A good friend had been placed into care and I remember her telling me how special she felt when one family made the effort to get to know her.
I worked in a school with children who had difficult home lives and that showed me they could improve. So when my three girls were grown up and we had spare bedrooms, me and my husband, Peter, 58, decided to apply.
In the past five years, we’ve had various placements and I’ve loved them all. It hasn’t always been easy. We fostered two sisters, aged seven and eight, who had both suffered terrible abuse. Over the 15 months the girls lived with us, they confided in us. Usually seeing the children move on is a great thing. We’ve had children to be adopted by other family members, which is lovely.
Currently we’ve two sisters living with us and they’re a real part of our family. They call us ‘Mum and ‘dad’, and our birth daughters see them as sisters. We recently renewed our vows and they were our bridesmaids – along with another girl we had on a short-term placement.
We took them to Gambia with us, where we go to do charity work. When they saw the horrific situations some kids live in there, one of the foster girls said, ‘I can’t believe how lucky I am.’ But knowing how awful her own upbringing was, I was so proud of her.
Fostering isn’t a job in the usual sense. It’s tough, it’s constant, it’s emotional – but it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do.”