Matthew and Danny – TACT foster carers since 2020
Me and my partner Danny had thought about fostering for a while. After the birth of three nephews and three nieces within a 2-year period and seeing the joy that they bring, we felt it was time to have a family of our own. We thought of all the children and young people out there who are in desperate need of a loving and stable home and decided fostering would be the best path. We have always had the mindset of “we don’t need a child, but a child needs a home”.
After doing some research, we decided to foster with TACT and at the start of November, we took in two brothers aged 5 and 10. We were so nervous the night before they arrived. I sleep through anything, but for Danny it was a really sleepless night. The sudden realisation that we were going from just us and our little dog, to also having two young boys stay with us was really overwhelming.
We didn’t need to worry so much, as the boys were great the night they arrived. It was late, so we just had dinner when they arrived and then watched a bit of TV together. Then they had their baths and went off to bed. They slept great and have done ever since. The next day we walked the dog together at the local park.
The boys absolutely adore our dog, Sandra, an 8-year-old Jack-a-Poo. It took a few weeks for Sandra to trust the boys, but she loves cuddles and strokes from them now. The boys’ nana has a dog who they were close to, so I think Sandra has really helped them settle and given them a sense of familiarity.
Over the past few months since they’ve been with us, the change in the boys has been phenomenal. Their confidence has grown massively, their speech is constantly improving, they attend school every single day, which they enjoy, and their manners are impeccable in comparison to when they first arrived. The youngest can now write his name on his own and the eldest can tie his own shoelaces.
Fostering during the pandemic has been challenging at times. It has been hard finding activities to keep the boys engaged as nothing has been open. We have played with Playdough and slime making kits and spent a lot of time outside walking the dog or riding on their scooters. We’re lucky enough to have lots of lovely walks near us, with forests, reservoirs and castles to explore.
To anyone else from the LGBT community who is thinking of fostering, I say go for it! It is definitely challenging, but also so rewarding. The assessment process is rigorous, and you should be prepared to have some uncomfortable conversations but seeing the children you care for smile and seeing the amazing progress they make is so worthwhile. Your sexuality will never be a barrier to fostering, you just need to be able to provide a loving home.