On the occasion of TACT’s 25th Anniversary, we spoke to young people who were fostered by TACT carers. Ten care leavers from different backgrounds and different parts of the UK shared their experiences of being fostered, how fostering influenced their lives, and what their foster carers meant to them.
Charlie (21) who recently graduated from the journalism course at the University of Northampton said: “My foster carer has always been the number one person to go to if I had any problems ever. I just graduated from university and I can say that’s because she was able to help and support me.”
For Natalie (30) who was placed in a mum and baby placement as a young adult being in care was the hardest yet the most rewarding thing she has ever done as she successfully managed to go home with her daughter. Natalie says her foster parents supported her by giving her more self-esteem and allowing her to grow as a person and become a better mum. “They have literally changed my life. Three years ago they didn’t even know who I was and I didn’t know them. Now I class them as family and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Ashleigh (19) said: “My foster carer kept pushing me to do better than I knew I could.” Ashleigh currently studies Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Plymouth.
Young people also shared their advice for children who are entering the care system for the first time.
A music student and producer Richy (19) said: “If you focus and do your thing, trust me, you will get to wherever you want. Fostering is really good. I loved it because I feel like it helped me with my career and lot of other things in life.”
All care leavers we spoke to have ambitious plans for their future such as working for the intelligence sector, helping other young people, becoming a top chef in a restaurant, a famous musician or a foster carer.