We know the decision to share your family and your home with a foster child isn’t taken lightly or without thorough consideration by everyone, so how helpful would it be to actually have time to chat with a foster caring family to find out what it’s really like? Well, here’s your opportunity to meet Michelle and her three lovely children, Alex, Eva and Harry on 30th November at our new offices in Basingstoke.
A little bit of background
Michelle’s fostering family have been with Blue Sky for a considerable amount of time, caring for children and young people from all sorts of backgrounds. Michelle’s career has always been child-focused: “I have my own children and I thoroughly enjoy being a mum so fostering was always the ‘next step’ from my perspective. From my early days working as a nanny, to running my own nursery and latterly qualifying as a lecturer specialising in Health and Social Care, my feeling has always been that I could offer a home to vulnerable children and here we all are, doing just that!”
Why Blue Sky?
“Well, I was registered with another independent fostering agency for about eight years. The agency itself was not proactive in caring for us as a family and, considering that this is one of the fundamental duties of fostering agencies, we were disappointed."
“When our team manager moved to Blue Sky, it made perfects sense for us to get in touch to see if Blue Sky could work for us as a family. I was lucky enough to meet Rupert, Blue Sky’s Deputy Director of Operations and I was sold! Blue Sky goes above and beyond to ensure our children are considered. We still have the best working relationship, I believe, possible and although things are not perfect (when are they where children are concerned?!), our own children are very happy with the care and service they receive.”
“In a world where the focus is mainly on foster children, Blue Sky ensures they get to know foster carers own children. They ensure they support, involve and value Alex, Eva and Harry and understand them as individuals. For instance, the Blue Sky team in Basingstoke fully understood the mutual benefit of involving them in their staff interview process. Each time they hold an interview, the children meet with the candidates and feed back their thoughts to the managers. They enjoy it thoroughly, have a great time at the office and they feel important."
And the best bits?
“Oh goodness, there are not enough pages in the world to explain this. I suppose it’s knowing my family is making the difference of a lifetime to children and young people, it’s hearing his teacher tell you he sat through a whole lesson without incident, it’s seeing her face the first time she has a school friend home for tea and it’s hearing them say ‘thank you’ for taking them to a decent restaurant for the first time, ever.”
“Fostering’s the most chaotic, wonderful, confusing, challenging, energetic, awe inspiring and difficult experience imaginable.”