Capstone Foster Care News

I used to be a foster carer before I became a social worker with Capstone Foster Care.

In my early thirties I looked after two teenage boys from the ages of 13 up until they became adults. I am still very much involved in their lives as they are now part of my family. The eldest had some difficult times as a teenager and young adult, and even though this caused me some worry, I never regretted caring for him, not even for 5 mins.

He now has a family of his own and works very hard to support them, and is a fantastic loving and playful dad. I like to think he has learnt from me about having boundaries and routines and also giving the children lots of nurture and understanding. I have been greatly honoured to be asked to be their nanna and they are a joy to look after.

His younger brother moved in with me as well from the age of 15 and stayed up until he was 20. I have supported him in cultivating a strong relationship with his dad, who he had not seen from being a baby. His dad gave him the opportunity of full time work and he has now gone on to have a very well paid job and recently got married to his partner of 7 years. They chose to have a very small intimate wedding and I was privileged to be one of the five guests.

They are both very appreciative for all I have down for them, and express this more now being in their thirties which is nice. However I always like to point out how much they have given me; all the years of fun, love and laughter. I am very proud of them both, and myself, and I view being a foster carer as the best and most rewarding thing I have ever done for myself as well as for them.

These experiences have been useful in my role as supervising social worker supporting foster carers.

Elaine, Social Worker

Rotherham Virtual SchoolThe Barnsley carers were recently visited by Peter D, the Virtual School Headteacher for Secondary and Post 16 in Rotherham at a recent support group meeting.

He spoke to a group of around 14 carers and staff about how the Virtual School aims to support young people and their schools. Carers had the chance to ask questions on topics like PEP meetings, Pupil Premium Plus, unofficial exclusions and behaviour. Peter said that the Virtual School is often unaware of issues unless carers tell them and it was important to let him know.

Virtual School Rotherham exists to support the educational progress and achievement of looked after children, wherever they live. Children do not ‘attend’ the Virtual School, and they do not have a school building; looked after children remain the responsibility of the schools that they attend.

Rotherham Virtual School are proactive in trying to discover what works for their 650 young people and how any problems that exist can be overcome. They use a portion of the Pupil Premium Plus money to help fund a range of support such as training school staff.

Supervising Social Worker
Recently Sara, Regional Director for Capstone (Midlands), had a long-awaited reunion with Flavia; who is a newly appointed member of our fostering panel here in the Midlands.

Many years ago, Sara was the supervising social worker for a foster family who accepted Flavia as part of their family when she was 15 years old.

As an adult, Flavia has gone on to work much of her career in children’s social care, making a difference to young people. She is now studying to qualify as a social worker and will be joining the Midlands team to complete her practice placement as a social work student in a few months’ time.

Sara said, “I am delighted and so proud to have played a small part in helping Flavia have a brighter future and meeting her now and having the privilege of witnessing what she has achieved, makes me realise how incredibly powerful fostering can be. Flavia is continuing the legacy by choosing a career that continues to help children and young people and that is amazing.”

This meeting is an inspiring example of how fostering is changing futures.

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