On the outskirts of a small market town in the south of England sits Dave and Linda’s home; a three bedroomed semi-detached former farmworker’s cottage. It’s neat and clean with two spare bedrooms and a rambling garden overlooking fields at the back.
“At Dave’s 40th birthday party, our friend told us his sister had just joined Blue Sky’s team of foster carers. It got us thinking” explains Linda. “Within a couple of months we were going through the assessment process and booking our space on their ‘Skills to Foster’ course. We met up with other people who were going through the same process, all of whom are now close friends of ours.”
“I was an emergency services control room operator” explains Dave, “so the skills and experience from that role have really helped me, plus the training and support from Blue Sky is always relevant and tailored to our needs. The training and support enables us to provide the best care we can.”
“At the moment, we’re looking after two teenage unaccompanied asylum seeking siblings. They came to us six months ago, unable to speak English, frightened and bewildered. They’d experienced unbelievable hardship. Blue Sky arranged for us to have training to help them settle. They are learning very quickly and happily attend the local comprehensive. They’re interesting and funny and obviously very intelligent. One wants to be a doctor, the other is proving to be a talented artist interested in architecture. We’re looking forward to helping them achieve their goals and make a positive contribution to their adopted country.”
Dave and Linda have been fostering with Blue Sky for 5 years. Although they didn’t have children of their own, they have a lot of experience caring for their many nieces and nephews and both volunteered in a local youth club for a few years before they became foster carers. Dave is the main carer and this is their story...