TACT celebrated its 30th anniversary last week, with employees from across Scotland, England and Wales taking part in a milestone event in Manchester.
Founded in 1993, the charity’s origins lie in the attic of the New Eltham home where, in 1989 founder Jim Armstrong, established the agency MJ Associates to meet the demand from local authorities facing the unrelenting shortage of suitable homes for children in care.
And it all started with placing a young person of 16 years with a foster carer living right across the street. Ten years later, TACT had 30 employees and offices in Bristol, Wales and the East Midlands.
From those humble beginnings TACT has grown into the UK’s largest fostering charity, with five successful mergers spanning five years and over 6000 children cared for by its dedicated foster carers. Currently, TACT has 128 foster carer households have fostered with TACT for over 10 years.
In 2018, TACT Connect, a community to support our care experienced young people, was launched. Shortly followed by the launch of the Education service in 2019.
Jim Armstrong said, “I am incredibly proud that TACT is doing so well, I could not have imagined it becoming so big, but it still has the founding ethics and goals at its heart.”
TACT’s charitable status has continued to be central to the founding belief that children are not for profit. This has ensured that any surplus income can be reinvested into the organisation to help meet the needs of children in care, while providing high-quality, child-centred fostering services to the growing number of fostering households – over 1600 since 1993.
As celebrations were underway, CEO Andy Elvin said, “It is fantastic to be here in Manchester paying tribute to our founders, Trustees, foster carers and staff whose incredible commitment and efforts make it possible for the children and care experienced young people at the centre of what we do and, in fact, at the centre of celebrations like this, to create their own legacies“.
Today TACT continues to sit at the forefront of creating better lives for children, young people, and care experienced adults, as it makes major strides towards becoming a trauma informed organisation.