TACT Connect

For a young person, leaving care can be daunting. There are lots of factors to consider such as finances, accommodation, education and employment. Ultimately, a young person’s local authority will be responsible for any support they require, but we felt that there was more that could be done to help with this transition and the idea for TACT Connect was born.

TACT Connect is now an online, members-only community for people aged 16-plus who have been cared for by TACT foster families. As well as a community connection, TACT Connect provides members with a place to turn to for information, advice, guidance or support through the transition to independence and throughout their adult lives.

What we offer members is always under review and we hold regular focus group meetings with our TACT Connect Advisors (Advisors are the link between us and the entire TACT Connect membership). That said, some of the key perks and services that we currently offer include:

  • Local and national meetups
  • Workshops (e.g. songwriting, crafting)
  • Connected (our quarterly magazine)
  • Regular newsletters
  • Mentoring
  • Access to TACT Connect grants
  • Education and personal development courses
  • The opportunity to become a paid Advisor
  • Life coaching

TACT Connect is run by a dedicated team, many of whom are care-experienced themselves.

“We’ve long been frustrated that the care system largely shuns responsibility for our children once they reach adulthood. At TACT, we take a different approach. We firmly believe that parenting is for life and that, although young people might move on from their foster homes, they never leave our care.
It’s this ethos that has driven us to innovate and establish TACT Connect. TACT Connect offers care-experienced young people and adults a community; somewhere to celebrate their successes and be there to lend a hand when needed.”

Andy Elvin, TACT CEO

Education Service

Due to the past adversity they have suffered, our children and young people have often been absent from school, through no fault of their own – or have not been emotionally ready to learn due to living in crisis.

TACT’s specialist education service was set up to support foster carers and advocate for children of all ages, to ensure that young people are able to access their educational entitlement of a full time and appropriate education based on their age, ability and needs. The service is overseen by our dedicated Head of Education, and consists of a full time Advisory Teacher in England, dedicated part time Advisory Teachers in Wales and Scotland, a Post-16 Advisor and an Education Support Administrator.

Training and projects of innovation are a big focus for the team – such as being part of Literacy Catch-up with What Works for Children in Social Care, and writing the Black Lives Matter curriculum.

Some of the services the team offer are:

  • Supporting carers and advocating for young people.
  • Educational meetings
  • Personal Education Plans (PEPs)
  • Assessments and assistance with any strategies within the school environment
  • Funding short falls in resources (e.g. Education Psychology Assessments)

TACT reinvests in employing highly qualified and experienced teachers and education professionals to put children at the centre of all we do, in order to achieve the very best educational outcomes.

“In response to our foster carers asking for more support with their children’s education, and our frustration that our children’s educational potential was not being reached, we set up a bespoke Education Service. This team is now 5 strong and has achieved a significant improvement in educational outcomes for our children.”

Andy Elvin, TACT CEO

Health service

Along with young people’s educational needs, health can sometimes take a back seat when children come into care – particularly if they have suffered some form of neglect. They may be behind on their dental check-ups, or they may even have a serious undiagnosed condition.

Along with any physical health needs, young people’s mental health will have inevitably suffered as a result of coming into care. Abuse and neglect can lead to feelings of abandonment and disconnection from their birth family.

In order to give young people the best possible care and opportunities, TACT decided to start planning their own health service. Still in it’s infancy, the charity is excited to be able to offer yet another bespoke and unique service to help improve young people’s lives. Watch this space!

“Our latest venture is to set up a bespoke health service. As with education, we were concerned by poor health outcomes for care experienced people and we aim to reverse this trend for our children”

Andy Elvin, TACT CEO

Advocating for young people

At TACT, we don’t just match children to our fantastic team of foster carers – we are a voice for young people everywhere. TACT actively campaigns on behalf of all children to help improve the care system in lots of different ways. Whether it’s looking to influence policy at a national level, or making recommendations via responses to Government consultations – TACT will always be there to lobby and campaign on behalf of young people.

Some examples of the campaigning that TACT have been involved in are:

TACT calls for new National Care Service

TACT’s open letter to home office

TACT joins campaign seeking #ChildrenAtTheHeart of the nation’s recovery

Take a look at our dedicated Policy and Campaigning page for details about our partnerships and networks.

Watch TACT’s CEO, Andy Elvin, talk on Sky News about how fostering services should be better prepared for a possible rise in the amount of children requiring care: