Friday, September 11, 2015


"Wow..... I'm a secret reader, i love reading all your posts..... I hope one day we maybe able to do as you do, I honestly don't know if we are brave enough, I really admire what you & people like you do....... Anyhow this post has hit me...... I'm not sure what it is or why it has, but something in here, has made me sit up & think ......... Maybe we could?? Might have to re-read it to what it was..... Keep up your amazing work x"

The post is here:  WHY FOSTER?

I woke up and found the above comment about a post entitled "Why Foster?", and wanted to thank the person who posted it, because the comment got me thinking about all the people who are in that quandary; "Could I or couldn't I foster?"

We have a calendar in the kitchen, you tear off a page each day so it shows the day's date. It also has a little motto or something trite for each day like "It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice".

I always remember one by Confuscious;

A man asked him which was the best religion, and Confuscious pointed to an apple hanging from a tree.

We didn't get it, and started discussing it. Turns out (we had to look it up) Confuscious was saying that you don't know if you like apples until you try one.

Same with religions.

Same with fostering.

I'm not saying you should try fostering to find out if you like it, or even if it suits you, I'm saying that once you've started thinking about it the next thing is definitely to talk to somebody about it. You can read about it in books or on websites, and talk about it in your home, but after that comes the moment of first contact; in my case I went into a fostering shop and asked.

This was back in the mid-nineteen eighties. You might find it hard to believe but a fostering agency had taken a low-lease short term rent on a shop in my high street. They had pictures of fosterable children in the window. Haven't times changed.

I'd walk past almost every day, and then one day drifted in. They had albums with children who needed foster homes. Names and background information too, as I remember! This was only thirty years ago, it just shows how much progress fostering has made. I'm not judging the people who promoted fostering in this way at all, if anything it makes me wonder how archaic some of our current day practices will look in thirty years time, and not just in child care but the way we think about everything. I'm sure much of life in 2015 will look neanderthal and hilarious in just ten years time, never mind about thirty years.

We re-took the plunge after a lot of thought  several years ago. I Googled 'Fostering in my area' and Blue Sky came up top of the search. I phoned and said;

'Hello, we're thinking about fostering'

'Oh lovely!' chimed the reply 'Let me get a few details' She took my name and number and I got a call later that day from someone who wanted to pop in and say Hi. We fixed a day and a time.

A nice man turned up, had a cup of tea and we talking about nothing much for half an hour.  I've never asked but I think his visit was just to make sure we weren't time-wasters. Next thing a social worker contacted us and the process of getting approved began. 

My point is that no-one knows if they can or can't foster. It's someone else's job to decide if you have the potential. 

My driving instructor, all those years ago, on the subject of when and whether to change gear told me; "If you've got time to think about it you've got time to do it". Same goes with fostering; if you are spending time thinking about it you are ready to get someone who knows to think about you too.

I strongly recommend a phone call to Blue Sky.

And thanks again for your kind post.

And when I said 'I woke up", I meant I woke up from forty winks on the sofa after the jobs, which I did after the school run, which I'm back on now the schools are back. I figure if I have a 20 minute nap every lunchtime until Christmas I'll have caught up the energy spent during the summer holidays.


  1. As you know many of our friends had 100% positive experiences in the foster care system - I like to think, especially in my case, that the failed placements were sometimes caused by people being wrongly advised about what was involved. I still think that a Children's Home should be a last resort but sadly it wasn't and isn't.

  2. Thanks Authors. I've quoted you many times at Blue Sky sessions; it's brilliant to have feedback from people on the receiving end of Care. I often refer to a point you made here about not really finding friendship and community and a sense of being 'at home' until you went to a Home - I hope I've passed on that point accurately.
    There's no point beating about the bush; I totally agree that not all fostering is 100%, for whatever reasons, and I'm deeply sad that you had bad times.