Tuesday, January 23, 2018


A neighbour came round last night, a parcel addressed to me had been left with her as I was out when it came.

The parcel was intriguing, I couldn't work out what it was. I'd recently bought a few things on Amazon; a draining rack, some jeans and a pop poster for one of the children. The parcel was a box about the size of an old-fashioned suitcase. It contained masses of screwed up brown paper and...a poster, furled into a thin cylinder.

Packaging has gone mad.

I offered her a cup of tea and we chatted, then after about ten minutes she plucked up courage;

"Actually there is something I wanted to talk to you about..."

Fostering. She was thinking about become a foster parent!

Yippee! She'll be great, provided she is prepared to take the plunge.

Turned out it was her youngest son's idea, or at least he was the first to speak up and suggest it. She thinks her boy is a kind lad who doesn't have anyone to look after being the youngest.

I'm very practiced in people asking about fostering, I can usually tell if they are giving it some thought. I try to be absolutely neutral and objective.

Basically I tell them it's fantastically rewarding, but at the same time it's no picnic. I don't tell them they should foster, that's for them. Equally I don't tell anyone not to, even if there might be practical or personal reasons why they might not take to it. Those considerations are the business of the professionals who do the assessments.

But I always tell them how much the country needs foster carers and how wonderful that they are thinking about it. Then I ALWAYS tell them to find out more by contacting an agency or local authority.

Always, always. I always tell them to visit a website, send an email or best of all make a phone call.

The reason is a lot of people waste part of their lives thinking about doing things. Thinking about dieting, giving up smoking, doing an Open University degree, you name it...

They talk a good game, telling friends and family they have a plan, they're intending to do X Y and Z. Waste mental energy ruminating, never getting round to it.

What I tell them is that they should get the ball rolling. It's a careful process becoming accredited (takes 4-6 months at Blue Sky). It's also a fun process; rewarding and revealing. My point is you can pull out any time, no cost to you and no-one will judge. Plus it's up to them to decide if you've got what it takes, so there's no pressure on you.

The process helps get you in shape for the job too. It packages you properly, if you like.


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