Saturday, May 22, 2021


 Our Blue Sky social worker has been extra-brilliant recently. At the time of writing the world is still reeling under the pandemic. The media are chockfull of items about vaccines, social distancing, masks, fresh air, handwashing…I could go on but you know yourself. There's precius little time for anything else on the news and in the papers.

A lot of important things are not getting the attention they deserve.

And that includes fostering. So allow me 30 seconds to do my bit?

Fostering Fortnight is currently under way. It's a campaign to bring fostering to the front of people's thinking, especially people who would make great foster parents. Fostering Fortnight is run by the charity 'Fostering Network'. They are there for anyone with any dealings with fostering. Right now they are asking to get the right sort of people to consider entering fostering post-lockdown. According to the FN we need an extra 8,600 carers to cope with the needs of children who need care.

I've written before about the ins and outs of getting into fostering, in a nutshell you need to be old enough, have a spare room, and pass a thorough but curiously enjoyable approval process. Seriously, that's about it; if that profile fits you, Blue Sky is a good place to start. Have a look around the Blue Sky site you're on now. Or call them on 0800 035 6498; that's what I did. 

The pandemic has been a massive challenge, and at the time of writing we're not yet in the clear. Covid has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, innumerable crippling illnesses, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Lurking beneath the surface in ALL of us is the hidden mental toll of the fears and anxieties, the stir-crazy of lockdown, the lonliness, the boredom..I could go on. All of us need to keep an eye on our hearts and minds amid so much stress.

Getting into fostering has massive benefits. Obviously the first to benefit is the child. But those doing the fostering benefit too. I can honestly say it's far and away the best thing I've ever done. I only wish I'd done it sooner. The joy of watching a sad child grow cheery, the overwhelming pride when they ask if they can call you 'mum' (not all of them do, of course, but when it happens…boy what a day!). There are a thousand rewards and they're all I think, pretty obvious.

But there's one benefit that doesn't appear on most people's radar.

You can get your own social worker who cares..for YOU.

Yep. A trained, qualified, practising social worker whose job is to nurse you through all your fostering, even help and guide you in dealing with the strain of fostering during a pandemic.

Our Blue Sky social worker is marvellous, they all are. Ours is practically family. She has visited us, where possible, throughout the pandemic. Even if she couldn't come into our home we would go for a socially distanced walk or sit freezing in the garden with our masks on. She stays for 2 to 3 hours making sure WE are okay. Of course she cares about the child, but the way fostering works if you're with an agency is that the child is assigned a local authority social worker who prioritises the child. Leaving the way clear for your own social worker to focus mainly on you.

It's not just visits. We get regular phone calls, Whats App chats and emails. See, they know fostering can be tough at times.

And when the going gets tough, blimey do they don't half get going.

There are a thousand good reasons to start fostering.

A thousand and one if you count having your own social worker.


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