Helen – TACT Foster carer since 2015
My husband and I started fostering almost 30 years ago. I remember how nervous and a little bit frightened we felt when we got our first placement – two siblings, aged two and four. Fortunately, we managed to meet our foster children before they moved in, which really helped. They were with us for three and a half years before they went on to be adopted.
Since then we have cared for more than 20 children, once we even cared for five siblings at the same time. Our last placement was a girl aged nine who lived with us until she became an independent young woman. We still support her whenever she needs us and she classes us as her parents.
At the age of 70, I am still very much enjoying fostering young people, and at present we have an 11 year old foster daughter who came to us two and a half years ago, and may well stay with us permanently.
When we decided to foster we already had three children of our own. However, this never seemed to be a problem – in fact, it was quite the opposite. Our children embraced our fostering all the way and I believe it made them realise how lucky they are. My daughter is considering becoming a foster carer herself, even though she is already bringing up her own four children.
When a placement ends, it does pull at my heart strings, but there is always someone else waiting for your help. We try to keep in touch and support our foster children even after they move on. One of our former foster daughters just had a baby and we were so pleased to receive photos of her beautiful son. She is still part of our lives and her adoptive parents became very good friends of ours.
We have tried different fostering agencies, but in the end chose to foster through TACT because they provide an exceptional support network and make us feel valued as foster carers.
Fostering is not easy, but there is no better satisfaction than seeing you have helped to make a positive difference in a child’s life. I am incredibly pleased to see our foster children’s lives have turned out to be happy and I feel I have had a small part to play in that.