David, Ruth and Jonas – TACT Foster Carers since 2018
When I look back to 2018, I am aware of how much has changed, and how life is so much better now. Back then I was a bus driver. I hated it, but I just couldn’t find what I really wanted to do, so I just plodded on driving buses, and generally feeling unfulfilled. Then I saw an advertisement which posed the question: “Could you foster?” and I thought, yes, I probably could. And fortunately, fostering charity TACT Scotland agreed with me, which is why I am now a very proud and very fulfilled full-time dad of four children – foster dad to three siblings, and dad to my birth son, Jonas.
Fostering is now my full-time occupation. While I am the primary foster carer, my wife and I are very much a fostering team. When we applied to foster, Jonas was a baby, but we knew we could happily share our home and hearts with more children.
The children currently with us are the third set of siblings we have fostered. The siblings arrived last year just before Covid lock down, which was actually a really positive thing for us as the enforced quality time together at home meant we all got to know and bond with each other really well.
It didn’t take long for Jonas and the kids to warm to each other. Jonas is quite a sociable wee guy and will always give others his time. He welcomed them and was excited to show them his things and share with them.
Jonas: “I like them a lot, they are my brothers and sisters. I like having the company, it was too quiet when it was just Mum and Dad. We play together all the time. When we go out to play, we play tag and laugh lots. When we are inside, we play on our tablets or switch together, and we love playing Roblox.”
Jonas does really seem to enjoy having them stay with us. We are just a big family and don’t really see them as anything other than siblings. Jonas has been a great influence on the kids and having him with us helped the kids settle in quicker. I believe that when the kids saw Jonas and how much he cared about them and was happy to help them, it made them feel at home.
Jonas has benefitted from the fostering experience in many ways. One that stands out was the first time a foster child was placed with us. Jonas was due to start nursery school and hadn’t really been in other children’s company. He learned a lot from the first placement and was introduced to the concept of sharing. He has learned a great deal and has grown into a caring wee boy.
We don’t see them as foster children. They are members of our family and get exactly the same treatment on their birthdays and at Christmas as my son. To him, they are just his brothers and sisters.
Becoming a full-time foster carer has completed my life. When I look at the children playing together, I feel like my world has been opened up in a way that bus driving or most other jobs never could. I know what I do is improving the lives of children who have had a tough start in life through no fault of their own. That is so rewarding, not just for us but for Jonas too.
Read more about fostering sibling groups.