Elaine – TACT Foster Carer since 2018
“My husband and I felt that we had done a good job as parents to our three children who are now all adults. We love children and we had plenty of space, so when 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 didn’t want to feel like just a number.
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; real mixed emotions.
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 were really helpful. In time we all settled into a routine and got on with normal home life. Two of my birth children still live at home and they are very supportive, especially my 18 year old son who is very close to them. My daughter refers to the young people (including my son) as the youth club.
Since living with us our foster children have both thrived. They had a negative attitude towards school and learning, but now we see them eager to go to school and are embracing learning. I love seeing the children achieve things they never thought they could. They are very keen on cooking and keep their rooms tidy most of the time. We even took them to a museum but only one of them liked it. We try to make them do things unfamiliar to them.
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 Town Hall Gospel 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. I found out that the boy was associated with being in a gang which is very far from the truth.
My greatest fostering success so far is seeing our children reach a good standard of education and feeling comfortable and happy at home. Along the way, I have learned that you should never give up on the job and understand that some things just can’t be changed.
The support and training I have received with TACT are amazing and meeting the other carers is very encouraging. I always feel inspired after training. TACT is managed really well, and our social worker is fantastic.
Fostering is very full on but also very fulfilling and I am so glad that my husband and I decided to do it. We have really grown attached to the children and can imagine them in our lives many years from now.”