“The children are treated as our own”

Author: TACT Fostering

Tags: Fostering siblings

Alex – TACT Foster Carer since 2010
West Midlands

We moved to Shropshire some 17 years ago from the Forest of Dean. We moved to our new home with the whole intention of filling it with foster children, and have subsequently had the privilege of working with many amazing social workers and key staff from Shrewsbury.

I make it my life’s work to work with charitable organisations; from The Prince’s Trust and Macmillan, through to Shropshire Paddlesports and Oswestry Community Games. I am also  a volunteer at scout groups, and I work with veterans.

I had worked with many children in care for about ten years before becoming a foster carer. Many of them had been labelled as ‘troublesome kids’ in school, the exclusion unit as well as young offenders institutes. While I worked with them through the Princes Trust Program, youth work and Connexions, it became very clear that many of these distressed young people were just missing their siblings. Some not even knowing where their brothers or sisters were in the world? It was then I realised that more foster carers were needed for sibling groups.

TACT offer 360 degree, 365 day support and have done for the 14 years that we have been with them. The support is immediate, kind, reassuring, thorough, none-judgmental and everyone in the household is looked after. TACT will always follow up with a phone call or a visit to check in. This is a lovely touch, I always feel fully supported as do the children that we care for in our family.

What do I love most about being a foster carer? The satisfaction of family life itself. I am super proud when people that have known us a little while comment that they had no idea that we fostered; a testament to the fact that children are treated as our own for as long as they are in our loving care.

I am also proud of the achievements that the children strive for with our support. Great GCSE results, A-levels, completing college, getting the jobs that they dreamt of, setting up their own homes… all when others have said that they will not achieve anything, and shroud them in doubt, etc. It just fills my heart with pride.

Highlights so far is being able to celebrate every achievement big or small, whilst keeping families together to thrive as a family, and not forgetting being able to bring siblings together again.

What advice would I give to people thinking about becoming a foster carer? Easy… stop thinking about it.. just do it!