“I would tell any man thinking about fostering to go for it”

Author: TACT

Tags: Fostering siblings, Men fostering

Joe, TACT foster carer since 2019
North East

Hello, my name is Joe, and I am the primary carer for two siblings who are now with me and my partner long term. I’d always planned to become a foster carer once I retired from working for thirty-five years with the same company. Coming from a very large and very close family, and always having young children in the family home, I thought fostering was something to investigate. I did a lot of research into which foster agency we would prefer to go with, including 3 home visits from various fostering agencies. I chose TACT as they were non-profitable and any money they make goes back in to help the children and their carers. Also, the support unit they were willing to provide was another good reason and I can say after two years I definitely made the right choice.

I really think having a primary male carer can make a big difference. The reason I say this is that, for us, when our foster children arrived with us two years ago, we could quickly see the different ways they reacted to my instructions rather than that to my partner Sue. I think this is because sometimes males that have been in their life previously have let them down. However, everywhere we go people always think Sue is the primary carer. Even when I have been on courses, the person taking the course thinks I am there with one of the other female carers (which I find funny as I am the only male carer up here!).

We have no doubt that me being the primary carer definitely helped the placement moving forward. Two years on, our children have amazed everyone with their progress and even their social worker can’t believe they’re the same children. We have recently just been approved as long-term foster carers for them which we’re all really happy about. I would tell any man thinking about fostering to go for it, as it’s the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. Fostering has made me a better person and the training I receive at TACT helps me to deal with situations that I might have struggled with in the past.

Our foster children tell us daily that we are their superheroes, how much they love us and life. In our eyes, it’s them who are superheroes, as we have only given them the care, support and love they deserve. I love being a foster carer and, to me, it’s just like winning the lottery when I look at them now loving life. Fostering is like a rollercoaster. You have your ups and downs but, with the right training, support and determination, you get there in the end. TACT will help you in every part of your progress. Our TACT social worker Beth has been a rock for us in the two years we have been fostering. She is always there to answer any questions we have, and it feels like she is more than just our social worker to us. We have enjoyed fostering and the rewards of seeing our children flourish so much is wonderful. We are now looking at the possibility of a third child, as that’s how much we are enjoying our journey being foster carers.

Read more about fostering sibling groups.