Liz and Mark – TACT Foster Carers since 2011
We started fostering with TACT seven years ago, all thanks to my mum when she spotted TACT’s advert in a newspaper, cut it out and gave it to us saying we would make great foster carers. We thought we did a decent job raising our three daughters and we could help other children, so we called TACT and have never looked back.
Before our first placement arrived, it felt like going on a roller coaster – we really wanted to do it, but we were a bit nervous. To be honest, the first few months were challenging as our 12-year-old foster daughter was always pushing against us. However, after a while, we managed to find a common ground and our relationship grew stronger and stronger. And now, at the age of 19, she still lives with us as we’d have hated to see her go off alone. She is part of our family.
Our first foster daughter is definitely our biggest fostering success and we couldn’t be more proud of her. She studies law at university, and she is the first member of her birth family in generations to go on to higher education. She also has a job which helps her to learn about the value of money. We still provide the roof over her head, the love and the support, but she is an independent young lady and we are confident she is going to do exceptionally well in her life because she has such a drive.
The relationship between our foster daughter and our youngest birth daughter was challenging at first as it was hard for our birth daughter to share her parents. When they were younger they used to argue a lot, but somewhere along the way they became the best of friends who always have each other’s backs just like sisters do.
We learnt that communication is crucial for the well-being of the whole family. As a foster carer, you need to talk to your partner and you need to be honest with your children.
We also cared for two young boys, one of whom still lives with us. During the last three years we have seen a wonderful transition in him, going from a very angry boy to a relaxed young man. His school attendance has improved drastically, from less than 50 per cent attendance to 100.
We also have two young siblings placed with our family. It has been 15 years since we have dealt with young children, but luckily, they’ve been absolutely brilliant. Our foster son has been amazing with the siblings – he has been teaching them table manners, how to use a fork and a knife properly and to say thank you; all the things we taught him when he first came to us, which he is now able to pass on.
Fostering is one of the best things we have ever done and we were so lucky to meet these wonderful children. Even silly little things give us a great sense of achievement, such as our foster daughter’s face when she received a Christmas present she’d dreamed about or how proud we were of our foster son after we took him to a restaurant for the first time and he demonstrated his newly mastered table manners.
I would advise anyone who would like to make a difference in a child’s life to consider fostering with TACT. Their support throughout the last seven years has been second to none and we know they will always be there whenever we need them.