Elaine – TACT Foster Carer since 2018
My husband and I love teenagers and we had plenty of space, so after our own three children had got older, and my husband retired from the fire service, we believed that the time was right to look into becoming foster carers. We chose to foster with TACT because it’s a charity and we liked their approach to providing child centred services.
Quite soon after becoming approved carers for TACT we found out that we were going to have two teenage siblings placed with us. I was excited and scared at the same time, but mostly I was pleased that we would enable the siblings to stay together. They might not be able to live with their family, but they would at least have each other.
The first few months were a bit awkward; we had to adjust and learn on the job, but the support and training we had from TACT was really helpful. Being fostered with each other helped both of them to settle well into family life with us. The placement has been such a success that it was agreed they would stay with us permanently, so we have become a fully bonded unit, with my birth children playing a key part.
Since living with us our foster children have both thrived. I love seeing young people achieve things they never thought they could. The older foster child is now on the Staying Put Scheme which enables young people to remain with their foster carers after they have turned 18.
As well as being a foster mum to two teenagers I work as a Business Liaison Manager which involves organising events and helping to manage a large business district in Birmingham. And in my spare time I manage to pursue my love of singing with a choir.
For me, the down-side of fostering has been learning about the young people’s difficult past and hearing that they have been given negative labels by their peer group because they are in care. Teenagers go into care for the same reasons as small children, through no fault of their own, and deserve the chance to live in a loving and supportive family environment.
My greatest fostering success so far is seeing our children reach a good standard of education and feeling comfortable and happy at home.
The support and training I have received from TACT is amazing and meeting the other carers is very encouraging.
Fostering is very full on but also very fulfilling and I am so glad that my husband and I decided to do it. I know there is a particular need for carers for teenagers and for sibling groups, and having fostered both I would thoroughly recommend it. We have really grown attached to the young people and can imagine them in our lives for many years from now.