Blue Sky Fostering
Blue Sky Fostering
Providing quality and care in all that we do
Who is Blue Sky Fostering?
Since Blue Sky Fostering was founded in 2005 by social worker Simon Lockyer, it has grown from a modest office in Hampshire to becoming one of the south of England’s leading independent fostering agencies, rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted consistently since its very first inspection in 2007. The latest Ofsted report can be read here
Blue Sky fostering stands out from the crowd by giving foster carers an exceptional and unrivalled fostering package, all they need to help achieve the best possible outcomes for vulnerable children and young people in their care, providing localised support from Kent to Cornwall and up to the Cotswolds.
Nicola Crisp, Director of Operations
Why Blue Sky Fostering?
Fostering with Blue Sky offers the opportunity to be valued and recognised for the contribution you make to supporting children and to foster with a friendly and professional agency with local teams dedicated to working alongside you.
We will never lose sight of what really matters. We’ll be ambitious for the children in our care and we will all go the extra mile to support our highly valued Foster Carers. We’re all in it, together.
Simon Lockyer, Founder.
- You will enjoy a rewarding career whilst changing the futures of children and young people.
- You will receive a competitive weekly fostering allowance, plus tax exemption and tax relief plus an attractive benefits package for all carers.
- We’re here by your side with unrivalled support, available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Rupert Bolger, Director of Relationship and Engagement
- Comprehensive, ongoing training will enable you to take on the challenges and success of fostering.
- To successfully look after others, you need to look after yourself, paid respite helps you recharge.
- Blue Sky Fostering also delivers great support for children and young people in their care. We were the first independent agency to offer the Duke of Edinburgh Awards for our young people and recently introduced new local awards to recognise the achievements of our younger children.
- Everyone is invited to the annual Blue Sky Fest, a unique opportunity for everyone to get together for family activities, live music and even a relaxation tent for carers!
Training, Education and Personal Development with Blue Sky Fostering
Our training programme is comprehensive and is tailored to meet the demanding needs of caring for young people who have had a difficult start in life. It is divided into a number of levels supporting your fostering career as you progress.
Skills to Foster
Once your application is in assessment, you’ll be invited to attend a local Skills to Foster™ Course (Level 1). Here you will meet members of your local Blue Sky Fostering team, experienced foster carers any other prospective foster parents who are going through an assessment. This fully interactive course typically lasts for 2 days and you’ll learn what’s really involved in looking after young people who are in care.
Once you have been approved you will have the opportunity to develop your career by completing further training. Essential training includes first aid, child protection, safe care, managing risk, equality and diversity, impulsive behaviour and managing risk. You will also complete the Government’s Training, Support and Development Standards (TSDS).
Blue Sky also provides an excellent annual training programme to progress your skills and to demonstrate your continued professional development (CPD). The programme includes courses on areas such as ‘understanding attachment’, ‘drug and alcohol use’, e-safety, ‘managing behaviour’ and ‘working with teenagers’.
We ensure you have lots of opportunities for learning, training and education and will help you balance any time spent on training with the demands of caring for a young person. We use a variety of trainers with considerable experience and expertise in their chosen field.
Blue Sky foster carers’ support package
Blue Sky Fostering understands what a demanding role fostering can be, and we pride ourselves on surrounding our foster carers with a supportive team and ensuring they feel part of it. Caring for young people who’ve experienced trauma requires resilience, stability and good support, so Blue Sky offers the appropriate level of support you need when you need it.
Rupert Bolger, Director of Relationship and Engagement
- We offer a competitive weekly foster carer allowance (with tax exemption and tax relief). Carers also have excellent mileage allowances, membership of Foster Talk, discounts from over 400 retailers including major supermarkets, complimentary Blue Light Card membership and free access to resources on topics like wellbeing and more.
- 14 days paid holiday (respite) per year, so you can have a rest from fostering.
- Training in all aspects of looking after troubled young people and specific opportunities to develop your skills and specialist interests.
- Regular workshops to keep your knowledge up to date.
- Phone calls and visits from your own social worker as regularly as needed.
- Fortnightly supervision with your social worker – giving you special time to think about your role without interruptions.
- Monthly support meetings with a small group of like-minded people and your social worker.
- Family outings and social events for all foster carers, all young people in the family and staff including the annual Blue Sky Fest.
- A network of foster carers supporting each other.
- Activities and groups for your Birth children to ensure they have an opportunity to talk to others in the same situation.
- Out of Hours service – access to a social worker who knows about you and your placement, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
- A culture of listening to you, learning from experience and developing the right service for our carers.
- Blue Sky also has a unique Carer Advisory Board and carer-led projects ensuring their foster carers have an active involvement in new initiatives within the agency and support for one another.
The right match
Ensuring foster carers have the right match to themselves is of paramount importance to everyone at Blue Sky. It is key to success and stability and essential for the child or young person in your care.
We will explore with you the different types of placements which can include therapeutically led fostering, giving you extensive training and support to help the most traumatised young people, fostering teens, ‘parent & child placements’ and more. We offer you the flexibility to find what type of fostering is right for you.
Each family setting and make-up is also unique; therefore we work to ensure you have the right match of children or young people, who match your family dynamics, age group, skill sets and preferences. We set you, and the children in your care, up for success.
We have been fostering since 2012. We started when Helen was made redundant from her full-time job. Alongside the fostering role, Nick continues to work full-time as a manager and Helen works part-time providing the same company with assistance when required.”
“It has been heart-warming to see our young people grow in confidence and learn life skills to enable them to look forward to their futures. Some of the teens we have fostered have displayed challenging behaviour.
We feel it is important to treat them as individuals, look at the cause of their behaviour and do our best to address them. The difference which can be made in a short period of time is often remarkable.
It was enlightening to see them become an adult, gain a college entry and then proceed to full-time employment, learn to drive, and live independently in their own accommodation.”
Helen and Nick, Blue Sky foster carers
Nick Foster Carer Insight – Fostering Siblings
We chatted with Blue Sky Foster Carer Nick as he shares his journey of how he got involved in fostering and how his own experience of growing up in the foster care system inspired him and his wife Wendy to create a nurturing and supportive home environment for children in need.
Lee and Karen’s Foster Carer Insight
Join us as we delve into the heartwarming story of Lee and Karen, former foster carers at Blue Sky Fostering. Their journey is an emotional rollercoaster, full of ups and downs, but ultimately one that has led to a beautiful and lasting connection.
Opening their home to a young boy in need, they became more than just carers – they became a family. Through the trials and tribulations of fostering, they gained a son and a lifelong best friend.
What areas do Blue Sky Fostering cover?
- Devon & Cornwall
- Dorset & Hampshire
- West Sussex and Surrey
Not in these areas?
Blue Sky Fostering is part of BSN Social care, a family of independent foster agencies all with a shared vision and ethos, all delivering the same high-quality environment for their foster carers and the children they look after.
Unity Foster Care
- South Yorkshire
- County Durham
Locations covered by Nexus Fostering:
Olive Branch Fostering
Locations Olive Branch Fostering covers:
Calon Cymru Fostering
Calon Cymru Fostering is based in the south of Wales and covers:
The Blue Sky approval process
New carers – We make sure we make the approval process efficient, thorough (for you too) and within good timescales.
Transferring – We welcome foster carers transferring to Blue Sky and make this process as seamless and swift as possible.