“What I love about fostering are the positive outcomes”

Author: TACT

Tags: Long term fostering, Staying put

Marilyn – TACT Foster Carer since 2002
East Midlands

Marilyn has been fostering with TACT since 2002. She was first inspired to foster after working in a school with special needs children and realised that some of the children were not receiving the care and support at home that they should have been given and that she could do more to help children like this by being a foster carer. Over the last 14 years Marilyn has fostered many children of various ages.

Talking about her experience of fostering Marilyn says “What I love about fostering are the positive outcomes, it’s challenging but I like to be kept on my toes. It is terrible that some children have been brought up believing that they are unlovable and worthless, and so they expect that from every adult.

Don’t expect miracles when fostering, just because you’ve got a loving home doesn’t mean that children are going to be different. It doesn’t always work out but in my experience, you always get back as much as you give out. I find it a very rewarding life choice.”

One of Marilyn’s most recent placements was Charlie, who she started fostering in October 2012. Charlie’s mother died when she was 13, she and her two sisters moved in with their father who became abusive to them. She eventually went into care when she was 15, Marilyn was her second foster placement: “Marilyn has been more of a parent to me than anyone could ever manage. She’s taught me vital life skills that I wouldn’t have learned from anyone else, such as confidence to talk to people.”

Charlie has remained with Marilyn as part of Staying Put and has now applied to go to university: “Marilyn gave me the courage to believe in myself and provided me with the motivation and support I needed to apply for university. TACT social workers were so supportive in all ways, and even when I went into staying put and were not TACT’s problem anymore, the social worker was still very keen to know how I was doing, and eager to help me with any problems I had.”