Capstone Foster Care News

The Real Life Foster CarerNearly every day starts the same way in our house, it’s usually the whispers and giggles of a tiny human ready to start their day.

We could never have imagined our house being filled with little people especially as we started fostering before we’d had any children of our own, but we can definitely vouch for the fact that it’s the best way to start your day.

We look after a seven-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy who both attend the same primary school. It’s only a short distance around the corner so we have a lot of time together in the mornings. Once everyone’s had breakfast, got themselves dressed, brushed their teeth and said good morning to the cats and the gerbils, they both head down to the play room.

We are really lucky both kids adore school so sending them off in the morning is easy, then it’s time for me to start on my to do list for the day.

I start most mornings by just giving the house a tidy up as although fostering is my main job, meaning I get to spend a lot of time at home, I still have to make sure that I set myself a schedule and prioritise things that need doing because at any moment something could crop up.

My first port of call is usually my logs from the previous day! Each day, carers have to keep a log of what the child/ren has been up to for that day, behaviours they have displayed, how school was, any accidents appointments or incidents! These are not only important to keep everyone safe but also, it’s a fantastic archive for our kids to look back on when they’re older! It’s also a brilliant means of communication between yourself and your social worker or anyone else who may need that information, as it’s all done online and sent to a secure central portal!

90% of my time is just spent being a mum, so washing and ironing, packed lunches, tidying toys, sewing swimming badges on, paying bills and the odd coffee with friends!

Every four weeks though I have supervision with my social worker from Capstone Foster Care. She comes over and quite often it leads to hours of nattering away and I can sometimes feel like I’ve had a free therapy session! There are also lots of other types of meetings and training that I attend as a carer, so some days are busier than others when these things are in my diary.

Our children have activities almost every night of the week so once they’re picked up from school it’s often go go go! They attend cubs, brownies and swimming as well as three after school activities! There’s also homework and reading to be squashed in there somewhere and not forgetting a bit of down time for them to process their day. But we always make sure we sit down together as a family for our evening meal to connect. As our little boy wants to be a chef and open a restaurant one day, he often helps me with the cooking too.

On Fridays we’ll usually have a later night and watch a film with some popcorn too, which the kids really look forward to.

It’s then bath and bed time for everyone! Before bed we always take this opportunity to ask the children if they have any worries or want to speak about anything, so it doesn’t linger and disturb their dreams, and then we think of 5 things that makes us happy right before we close our eyes.

My days can be very busy at times and no two are the same, but we wouldn’t change what we do for the world!

Conne & Nico Robertson-Gurie, The Real Life Foster Carer

Two of our young people are currently involved in a Nurture Psychology project which explores how music can promote resilience and well-being for cared for children and young people. This is a new collaboration between Nurture Psychology Service & North Manchester FM Community Radio station, funded by the National Lottery.

The aim is to provide a programme of activities which help young people build resilience and explore thoughts and feelings such as, loss, hope, optimism, anger and stress using music, song writing and radio production.

In total, fifteen cared for young people have been attending the sessions. Eight of which have involved them working with musician facilitators to create new songs. The remaining sessions have been on radio production sessions, which involve learning new skills around presenting and producing their own radio show. They will cover interview techniques, research, editing radio/audio production and together they will apply these skills during two final broadcasts on NMFM 106.6.

We are glad to say that our young people have nearly completed the course and will be presenting how music helps to get them through challenges from 5pm on Wednesday 15th May 2019 on NM FM 106.6.

Teenage Girl
Hi my name is Emma, I have been in foster care for nearly four years and today I am sharing my story with all of you.

At first I found it really hard being away from my mum and dad, and my social worker at the time kept on telling me it will be okay and that I will live a more happier life without them but all I wanted was to live with my birth parents and for them to be there every day – but as I got older I realised I live a lot happier life with other people and that you can love more people than your original family.

Two and a half years ago I lived with different foster parents and I didn’t like them at all. They were really mean, and my social worker could tell that because I was upset, and I felt like I could not trust anyone anymore. So, they decided to move me to other foster parents, so we packed all of my things and drove all the way up to London. That’s when I met A and L.

As soon as I stepped foot into their house, I immediately felt safe and that I would stay here for ever. Two and a half years later I am still here safe and sound along with my twin brother.

But sometimes everything isn’t a walk in the park, I still struggle with a lot of things; here are a few – manners, keeping my temper and treating people in a respectful manner.

If I was still living with my birth parents and I asked for something and they said no to the thing or toy I wanted I would go in a bad mood and get physical until they gave in, but A and L don’t give in even if I try and push the limits. Once I have calmed down A and L will talk to me about my behaviour and explain the decision they have made. Even if I am disappointed at not getting my own way, I understand they have done this for a reason and not to be cruel. I like the way they do this instead of talking to me when I am angry and making me angrier.

I think about when I have children and hope I wouldn’t give into them and I won’t because the way A and L parent feels right.

I want to stay with A and L until I am 18, after I am 18, I will still come and visit them because they and their family have changed my life forever.

I love them lots and I will love them forever.

By Emma

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