What is #FosterTheFuture?
#FosterTheFuture is TACT’s new campaign helping raise awareness of how foster care transforms the lives of some of our most vulnerable children, giving them the confidence and security to succeed in adult life. We hope it might encourage people to think of becoming foster carers and make more people aware of the wonderful and valuable work foster carers do when they #FosterTheFuture.
We’ve all heard negative stories about care. Statistics about prison populations, homelessness and mental health will often make reference to the numbers of those affected who were in care. All too often we hear of individual tragic cases in the news involving someone who is, or was, in care. Sadly, there is truth in the fact that care leavers do not achieve as highly in education as their peers and are more likely to be homeless, in prison or indeed have their own children taken into care.
It would be all too easy to assume that this happens because of the care system itself.
However, it’s vital to realise a couple of things. Firstly, many children will have experienced severe abuse or neglect before coming into care. Unless they are given security, support and access to the services needed to help them deal with the consequences of their experiences, the issues they face can continue into adult life. Next, young people who have been in care need to have effective continuing support once they leave care. All the benefits of living in a stable loving foster home could be jeopardised unless help also continues, particularly for those early years of adulthood.
TACT is a campaigning organisation working to improve the care system and these are the issues that we raise with politicians and policy makers. This has helped persuade the Government, for example, to introduce ‘Staying Put’ in England, allowing care leavers to stay with their former foster carers until they are 21.
So, the care system isn’t perfect by any means, and TACT is constantly working for improvement. But vitally, the care system works. When children who come into care are given safe, secure loving family environments it can and will work wonders.
How do we know this? In 2012 TACT worked with the University of East Anglia to produce major research looking at the reasons why some children in care end up involved in the criminal justice system, while others (indeed the vast majority) do not. It found that positive experiences, particularly in the early months in care, had a hugely transformative impact on the child. Further research by TACT, called ‘Aspirations’, has shown that the longer a foster placement lasts, the better a young person does, particularly in education and in developing long term relationships.
We have recently undertaken a TACT wide children’s survey, It shows what wonderful job TACT foster carers are doing. For example, 95% of the children interviewed said that their carers made them feel good about themselves; 88% said that they believed being in care was the right thing for them; and 74 % described their TACT cares as ‘very good’ (with a further 13% being described as ‘Good’). Underpinning and explaining these positive results is likely to be the fact that 95% of the children said that their foster carers make them feel good about themselves.
TACT Foster Carers
TACT foster carers do wonderful work, and to help them do this we make sure they get all the training, advice and round the clock support they need to achieve this. We use the best and most effective research to inform the training and support we provide, meaning that TACT carers are able to deal with the challenges they face.
#FosterTheFuture isn’t some revolutionary new idea. We aim to encourage more people to consider fostering. People willing to open their heart and home, to treat the children they care for as if they were their own. It’s about providing current foster carers with the help they need to succeed. It’s about being determined that every child who comes into care has the opportunity to enjoy their childhood, and will look forward to adulthood with confidence.
Are you interested in fostering?
If you’d like to get in contact with us you can:
- Register your interest to foster now by filling in our online form
- Call our freephone number 0808 159 9524 FREE and a member of our team will put you through to the relevant local TACT fostering office
- Find out where is your nearest local TACT fostering office and contact them by phone or email – we have offices across England, Scotland and Wales
If you’d like to find out more about fostering you can explore our website which has further information on how to become a foster carer, read our guide to fostering, Transform a life. Become a foster carer and hear about the experiences of other foster carers.