Foster Care Fortnight starts soon.

Most of the fellow foster parents I know are too busy fostering to get their heads up on national campaigns and what have you, but Blue Sky are behind it and we thought it was something to flag up on the SFC blog.

You can get the works on it at their site, Google; "Fostering Network".

I had a look myself and was pleased by looking. Sometimes you forget how much you are doing when you do what you do and get on with it day in day out, and when someone else takes a bird's eye view you get a different perspective.

I was struck by one of their criteria on the page about what a potential foster carers needs to have going for them.

Along with the golden rules such as being 21 or over and having a large enough spare room was;

'Your friends and family - are there people who can support you to foster?'

It made me stop zizzing around the site and think.

They are so right. Without a bunch of pals and a gang of nailed-on family members you are going to struggle.

The other requirements are easily understood, but when I tried to cotton onto why the Fostering Network considered friends and family a necessity I experienced a very very happy feeling I'd love to share.

See, often we take friends and family for granted. A bit like a pair of old jeans or a favourite LP, you appreciate them, but rarely celebrate them as heroes or lifesavers.

And for most people that's probably about the mark, but not for foster carers.

Our friends and family supporters are lifelines. They have to hear our ups and downs, respect privacy and anonymity (and anyway we don't give them real names etc, and they know that and understand).

But my goodness, you get a coffee friend round and after a quick-fire "How are you?" "Fine. How are you?" it's on to the fostering. People are never less than amazed at what we do.

Amazed. Fascinated. Flattering. Supportive.

It gives you even more energy, and sometimes you get good advice and some thinking 'outside the box'.

I'm already up on the deal having started my little investigation into Fostering Fortnight; watch this space!