Be bold in making a difference in the lives of children in foster care. Consider fostering a sibling group to keep them together and help them to be successful. The Tackett family isn’t shy to say that there were times when they wondered if they had the energy to care for two children, but the smiles, daily laughs and “parenting wins” made it all easier and worthwhile.
The Tackett family was licensed by The Settlement Home and fostered a sibling group. We caught up with them recently to hear about their experience and find out what advice they have for others who are considering fostering a sibling group and are a little hesitant. After researching different organizations and choosing to get licensed through The Settlement Home, the Tacketts began the required training. They decided to take it slow to become great foster parents. The couple both come from families with siblings and know about the power and love that comes with growing up with another person. They wanted the children they would foster to be able to feel the commonality and connection that you can only get with a sibling. They were right. The sibling group that they fostered were able to feel a sense of normalcy from being together, even though they weren’t with their biological parents. They were able to console each other on difficult days and have their own familiar relationship as they learned their new surroundings at the Tackett family’s home.
The couple isn’t shy to say that there were times when they wondered if they had the energy to care for two children, but the smiles, daily laughs and “parenting wins” made it all easier and worthwhile.
When asked if they had any advice to give potential foster parents considering a sibling group, the Tacketts suggested having five times more patience than you think you need and to remember that it’s a process and things don’t change overnight.
In providing structure, nurture and consistency for the young children in their care, the Tacketts saw one of the siblings show significant behavioral improvements in the short seven months they were together. He went from having a vocabulary that included only a couple intelligible words to being able to speak in complete sentences and having an arsenal of 100 words to use when communicating.
When children feel safe and cared for, they have a greater likelihood of going on to lead successful, productive lives. The Tacketts used their training, their relationship with one another as a couple and their good nature to provide a safe and happy home environment for the children that they fostered. They said that even with those supports, fostering is hard, but that it’s okay to feel like you aren’t doing a good enough job. Parents (both biological and foster) must learn from their mistakes and embrace the process of getting better because ultimately “we really are making an impact.”