Graham and Tyrone Williams

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council's Fostering Team is proud to not only be a Stonewall Top 100 LGBT employer, but also one that is recommended to others time and time again.

Graham and Tyrone adopted their son Ollie, now three, via Rhondda Cynon Taf Council as we were recommended to them by New Family Social, the charity for LGBT families and families-to-be.

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Two years later and the Pontypridd couple knew exactly where to go when they decided to become foster carers and have recently welcomed their second young looked-after child into their home.

They say the process into fostering for Rhondda Cynon Taf was as supportive, understanding and simple as the adoption process was.

The first child to be placed with Graham and Tyrone was an eight-year-old boy who has since returned to his birth family.

When they were asked to care for a 15-year-old boy, it was, at first, something they did not think they could do but as he settles into their home - and benefits from the skills and experience Graham and Tyrone have thanks to their careers - they are urging other people who are considering fostering to take the first step and find out more.

Fostering allowed Tyrone to leave his job as a special needs teaching assistant and he focuses on fostering and raising their son full-time.  He has applied the skills and experience gained from the training that he has received from the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Fostering Teamas well as his previous experience in education to ensure the teenager is happy, reassured and settled.

Graham , a South Wales Police officer, continues to work and also says the skills and experience he has from the training that he has received both from RCT and throughout his career have helped him to be a better foster carer.

Graham and Tyrone are no strangers to the support provided by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council. They adopted their son via the council in 2014 after its friendly, supportive and welcoming process was recommended to them by New Family Social, the charity for LGBT families and families-to-be and also their lesbian friends who had adopted their child via the council.

The same approach is applied by the Council to potential LGBT foster carers and the Council is proud to have been recognised as one of Stonewall’s Top 100 employers.

Graham and Tyrone initially considered adopting a second child but after consideration wanted to help and support a number of children and families and after discussion made a decision that fostering would allow them to do this.  Tyrone had always wanted to foster and the pair began the discussions that led to them applying to be foster carers.

Key to this decision was the fact their own son benefited from 10 months of extraordinary care from his foster carer before they adopted him.

They say fostering is part of his life story and the process they went through to adopt him opened their eyes to fostering and the hugely important role that foster carers play in the lives of children and young people.

They also felt their individual skills and experiences from their professional and personal lives would make them good foster carers and, as adoptive parents, knew they could care for a child in their home who had experienced difficult early life experiences.

Both agree the fostering assessment and approval process was relatively plain-sailing and very similar to the adoption process. They say it would not be an onerous process for anyone who was truly passionate about becoming an RCT Foster Carer.

Tyrone explained how their fostering journey began when they started their assessment in February 2014 and went to panel in May of the same year. They were approved shortly after their panel date.

He said: “Our first placement was shortly afterwards in June 2015 and we had an eight-year-old boy who lived with us for a few months. Receiving the first phone call and then having a social worker arriving with him a few hours later was nerve-wracking, but we got on with it and tried to make him feel as relaxed as possible.

“We kept saying to ourselves how we would have felt if, at eight years of age, we were suddenly put into a house with complete strangers.

“During those first few months, we attended professionals meetings and supervised contact with his family. We did experience some challenges along the way, but received great support from our supervising social worker.

“Our second placement is a teenage boy with Autism, which was a bit of a surprise to us as we had initially thought our preference would be younger children with no additional needs. However, my experience of working with children with Autism meant we felt we had the right skills.”


Graham added: “We are so pleased we were asked to consider looking after a child outside of what we originally considered as that little push has been great for us. We would encourage anyone considering fostering not to forget about older children and those with additional needs.

“As foster carers, we are here to offer a happy and safe home, while helping young people reach their full potential. We see ourselves as professionals, who are there to get the best for the child who is placed with us. That involves making contact with agencies and attending meetings to speak on behalf of the child.

“We've enjoyed our time fostering so far, it's been a challenge and we hope we've helped a little along the way.”

 Find out more about fostering in RCT by calling 01443 341122