PR Log - Sep 10, 2012 - A group of local foster children and young people were treated to a 5-a-side football tournament at Goals in Millbrook this week. The youngsters who are fostered by foster carers at local independent fostering agency, Blue Sky Fostering took part in a competitive and fun-filled tournament. They were also joined by their foster carers, their own birth children and a number of Blue Sky Fostering staff.
Nearly 40 young people took part in the event which is one in a series of events for the children and teenagers organised throughout the summer holidays.
Karla Baker & Natasha Phillpott, Social Work Assistants at the agency who organised the event said, “We are really pleased with the turn out for this event as getting everyone together is a really important part of the ongoing support package for our foster carers, looked after children and the foster carers’ own children. We try to hold events like this at least four times a year with extra events over the summer weeks.”
“Despite the weather, the number of people who made the effort to attend this event is particularly pleasing as holding a football tournament was actually suggested by one of our looked after children. It makes it even more special for this young person that our foster carers welcomed his idea and encouraged the children and young people in their care to take part. Each event we organise is different from tea parties to sports days and laser tag to ice-skating so hopefully we have something for everyone to enjoy.”
As well as organising events for the whole foster family, Blue Sky Fostering also provides regular training, 24/7 support and a weekly allowance to their foster carers. With a nationwide shortage of around 8,750 foster carers the agency rated Outstanding by Ofsted are keen to go that extra mile and as well as offer this support also make fostering - which can be a challenge - as fun as possible to try to encourage others to consider the option.
Rupert Bolger, who heads up the team of social workers in the region commented, “We often find that people do not realise they have the skills or qualities to become a foster carer. As long as foster carers have determination, patience, a good sense of humour and enjoy the company of young people, fostering could be a really fulfilling opportunity for so many people.”
Blue Sky Fostering was established in 2005 to address the need for more foster carers in the south of England. Since then, the agency has built a reputation for excellence providing extensive training and support throughout the challenges of being a professional foster carer. Working together with their foster carers Blue Sky Fostering believe they can help every child reach their full potential regardless of their previous life experiences.
Blue Sky Fostering supports over 120 foster carers, caring for over 140 children across the south of England. The Independent Fostering Agency was rewarded an Outstanding rating by Ofsted in two consecutive reports in 2008 and 2011.
About Foster Care
Across England there are an estimated 64,000 children in the care system. Over 44,000 of these children and young people are in foster care. The majority are aged between 10 and 15. The need for foster carers is increasing each year with a shortfall of around 8,750 foster carers nationwide.