Carol – TACT Foster Carer since 2010
Eleven years ago, we decided to enquire about fostering. It was something we had always wanted to do as a couple and now was the right time for us. Our three daughters were grown up and our eldest had left home, leaving us with two empty bedrooms.
We started our journey by speaking with a social worker in March 2010 and completing our Form F, which is a very detailed document about us to be presented to a panel. We attended Panel on a very wintery, snowy day in December 2010, feeling nervous and excited. We passed and I can’t even put into words how we felt. After years of thinking about fostering… we had done it!
Two months later our first placement arrived – a boy aged 9. We had never had a boy before, so it was a whole new experience for us as well as a foster brother for our daughters. To say we made a fuss of him is an understatement. My daughters spoiled him by taking him on days out and he joined our clothes shopping days, fitting into our family immediately.
Our foster son had a special bond with my grandson Harley – they got on so well and brought the best out in each other. When he left to go and live with family, although we were happy for him, it was also emotional as he had been with us for 18 months – but we have kept in touch!
Since then, we have had many more placements – a sibling group, a parent and child placement and the four children we have with us now; two sibling groups who are here long term and are part of our family. The children have travelled all over the world and often one of my daughters will tag along too, as we are one family.
My youngest daughter Zoe is a secondary carer, so if we ever want a break or a holiday, Zoe will come to our home and look after the children. This means they don’t have to change their routine and can stay in our family home – we call it recharging our batteries.
Our family has grown over the years. We now have six grandchildren and three of them go to the same school as our two younger foster children – one of them is even in the same year group. Our grandchildren love coming to Nanna and Grandad’s house because we have a big playroom and garden and there is always someone for them to play with. They never want to go home!
We have an amazing, very close family and I wouldn’t change anything. Prior to lockdown, we would have a full house and share amazing garden parties together with our twelve-foot trampoline, bouncing castle etc… we have lots of fun! I can’t wait until we can all get together again.