Stefan and John Talk Fostering with Blue Sky

We are Stefan & John, but everyone calls us Stef & Smiffy. We passed our panel assessment on 28th January 2016 and had our first YP (Young Person) the next day.

Since then we have had 3 permanent placements of 6 months, 3 months, and our current YP will have been with us for a year in January 2018.

We’ve also been involved in 10 respite placements for various lengths of time alongside our main YP since January 2017. One YP was meant to stay 3 days and was with us for 3 months!

We have always wanted to help young people and try to make a positive difference to their lives. We were both very career focused, and the idea of moving into fostering was never really explored as this always took priority.

However, when Stef became unhappy in his job, we decided to go on a Blue Sky open event to get some information, and from then on, our journey just spiralled.

7 months later he had finished his job and our first placement was at our door. A year on from this, Smiffy chose to foster full-time and become a carer too.

The team behind us has been fantastic. We have fantastic relationships with everyone we have met within Blue Sky Fostering and thanks to the them, we have got involved in lots of new things like training and events.

We have been treated no different to any other carers. More often than not, I think we have an advantage with the YP we foster. We are not the nuclear family (i.e. mum & dad) that some of the children are used to, and this gives them a different family experience.

We looked after a YP who, within days of living with us, felt comfortable enough to tell us he was bisexual. We helped him be able to explore his own identity and be happy with himself.

If we could give one message to another couple, or single person, we would say “DO IT!”

No matter your sexual orientation, age, or gender, it is the best thing we have ever done, and has given us some of the proudest moments of our lives.

To find a Blue Sky Fostering office in your area, visit their website or call 0845 450 3519.

Published in Fostering focus Meet the agencies on January 15, 2018