Heather – TACT Foster Carer since 2016
As a teacher, I have come across many children who experienced neglect and abuse. I felt like nothing seemed to be done to help them and often, I just wanted to take these children home and nurture them myself. My friend and I have been living together for years and because we work together very well, ten years ago, we started to think about fostering. However, our local authority turned us down saying that two women who are not a couple can’t foster together so we let it go until a couple of years ago, when our neighbour who is a foster carer gave us a nudge to try again. On this occasion we phoned TACT as we liked the fact that they are a charity and we were accepted as foster carers in 2016!
One month later, we received a phone call from a social worker about an emergency placement and the very next day, an eight-year-old little girl arrived into our house. I have to admit things were not always easy as this girl was dealing with her very traumatic past. Eventually, after approximately seven months, she moved to a new placement due to her complex needs. Even though there are things that we would have done differently now that we are more experienced, we honestly believe we did make a difference for her and we could see some significant growth even during this short period of time. She must have felt safe with us, because she was able to say and show us things that no one ever knew about like the fact that she was abused. If it wasn’t for TACT’s continuous support, I don’t think we would have been able to help this girl and we would not be able to gather the strength to open our home to other children.
Luckily, we did and since last year, we have been caring for three adorable little siblings. They are charming little children, but due to their very difficult start in life, two older ones have some anger issues to work on. Luckily, we managed to get some psychological help through TACT. Their younger brother is only a toddler, but he has made such a progress since being with us which has been a pleasure to watch. When he arrived, he didn’t smile or talk whatsoever. Now he is a very happy healthy well rounded little boy who is always smiling and laughing and he even learnt to say his first few words!
My friend and I don’t have children of our own, but our extended family and friends have supported us 100 percent. We always go on holidays together and our three foster children think of them all as their family. It is lovely to be able to offer them a sense of belonging and security which they didn’t have before.
I would love to inspire more people to consider fostering as it’s so important and worthwhile. It is true that having three small children to take care of can be both physically and emotionally difficult but seeing the change you can bring about for a child outweighs any negatives. Also, it is such a good fun!