TACT Connect

Being care-experienced can be a mixed bag for many, especially those reaching the age where they may be looking to move out from their foster home. It can bring about a mixture of excitement and worry about possible changes ahead; after all, there can be a lot to consider, such as finances, accommodation, education and employment.

The lightbulb moment, which led to us creating TACT Connect, came when Andy Elvin, our CEO realised that we were perfectly positioned to do more to be alongside our care-experienced community when they reached the age of 16. With this in mind, and after consultation with young people and carers, we created TACT Connect. The aim: to be there no matter what for our care-experienced young people from the age of 16 throughout adulthood. Over time though, TACT Connect has become so much more…

What is TACT Connect now?

TACT Connect is now its own community. Yes, it’s still a support scheme for young people, aged 16-plus, who have been cared for by TACT’s team of foster carers. But, it’s most definitely not an ‘us’ and ‘them’ approach.

Our community comprises a close-knit, friendly team of dedicated staff (many of whom are care-experienced) and a diverse group of members. Our members bring as much to the table as we do. TACT Connect develops in line with the changing needs and wants of our members. It’s a two-way street, a healthy cycle of interdependence if you like. We help members, members help each other, members provide feedback, we improve the scheme, and so it goes on!

Our aim is to provide a connection to a community that’s there throughout adulthood.

 

Who is eligible to be a member?

Anybody over the age of 15 who has been cared for by a TACT foster carer.

There is no upper age limit. As long as you are, or have previously been, looked after by a TACT foster carer, you’re in, and we hope you’ll stay around!

What are some of the perks to being a member?

What we offer members is always under review and we hold regular focus group meetings with our TACT Connect Advisors (Advisors are the link between us and the entire TACT Connect membership). That said, some of the key perks and services that we currently offer to our members include:

  • A membership ‘welcome’ box
  • Online meetups
  • National in-person meetups
  • Special online interest groups
  • Workshops (e.g. songwriting, crafting, Singo)
  • Connected (our quarterly magazine)
  • A regular newsletter
  • Mentoring
  • Access to TACT Connect financial grants
  • Education and personal development courses
  • Money management support
  • Support throughout adulthood

Upon joining, members can find more much more information about these benefits on our Connect Hub, the go-to place for everything relating to TACT Connect!

Who’s behind the day-to-day running of TACT Connect?

Our TACT Connect scheme is run by a dedicated and passionate team, many of whom are care-experienced themselves, so there is a real sense of empathy and understanding that comes with the support. Our team work closely with our members, TACT Connect Advisors (advocates for our members) and our marketing team to constantly improve the Hub and the benefits we offer. Funding is provided by The Big Lottery Fund.

What’s the process for becoming a member?

  1. Fill out the registration form on this page.
  2. One of the TACT Connect team (usually Poppie or Nicola) will contact you to arrange a convenient time to chat. We will introduce ourselves, get to know you a little and answer any questions you might have.
  3. On the same day we’ll send you a welcome email with a login to the Connect Hub, our exclusive online members’ area.
  4. You’ll receive your TACT Connect membership box (full of practical and fun goodies).
  5. You’ll now be ready to begin your TACT Connect journey and explore everything that’s on offer. It’d be great to see you at one of our regular online meetups where you can get to know other members and make new friends!

“We’ve long been frustrated that the care system largely shuns responsibility for our children once they reach adulthood. At TACT, we take a different approach. We firmly believe that parenting is for life and that, although young people might move on from their foster homes, they never leave our care.

 

“It’s this ethos that has driven us to innovate and establish TACT Connect. TACT Connect offers care-experienced young people and adults a community; somewhere to celebrate their successes and be there to lend a hand when needed.”

Andy Elvin, TACT CEO