Sue – TACT Foster Carer
“I worked for 25 years in the music industry but had a growing sense that I wanted something different. I began to find London too fast and angry. I moved to Weston Super-Mare over three years ago and I love it here. I love being by the sea.”
But an even bigger reason behind Sue’s new found happiness is the arrival of 17-year-old Paige into her life. Paige, who has been in foster care since a very early age, came to live with Sue just two years ago. Sue comments that the strangest thing is that it’s not been strange having Paige with her. “It just feels right”.
Sue started thinking about fostering while still in London. “I remember hearing about the Baby P story and I knew then I had to do something to help some of these children.” But it wasn’t until a chance meeting with another TACT foster carer that she made the decision to go for it: “I met Andy while walking our dogs on the beach. We got talking and it was like serendipity,” says Sue. “He told me about his experiences as a foster carer and it helped me know for sure this was what I wanted to do.
I really didn’t know what to expect,” Sue says. “I’m learning so much from Paige. She’s been through so much and she’s a survivor. I can’t imagine just being plucked from one life and dumped into another, but she copes brilliantly. The bonding process has been very quick. If I’d had a daughter myself, she’d probably be about Paige’s age. Maybe that’s why it feels like there’s a natural fit.”
Although it’s very early days, Sue already says becoming a foster carer has been one of the best decisions of her life. “It’s not a decision you can take lightly but it’s incredibly rewarding,” Sue explains. “As well as my mentor Andy, I meet and talk regularly with my supporting Supervising Social Worker and other carers and there’s lots of training.”
Sue’s advice to others who would like to foster is: “If you’re thinking about being a foster carer, the chances are you’re probably the right kind of person to do it. Patience and humour are the main things you need and the ability to simply listen and pay attention – so often that’s all young people want. That and a safe place to call home. If you’re thinking about it, please do make the call. I’m so glad that I did.”