Capstone Foster Care Blog

Capstone Foster Care are celebrating 10 years of building brighter futures and so are members of our team!
Tina Beech, Administration Manager for the South West, recently celebrated her 10-year work anniversary with Capstone.

So, in recognition of this personal achievement and commitment to our carers over the years we asked Tina to reflect on her own 10-year journey.

Tina Beech I joined Capstone in April 2009, well, actually, that’s not strictly true! Finding myself faced with redundancy, after a 30-year career with the same company, I decided to look for a total career change.

I had no idea what direction that might take, so I applied for the position of administrator at a small independent fostering agency called Windmill, based in Somerset. At that time, there was a small carer base supported by a team of three/ four staff. What a lovely change, I thought, a far cry from the hectic and pressurised environment of the industrial sector!

Well, by the time my DBS (CRB) check came through I was ready to start work, at which point talks were well underway between Windmill and Capstone – a total surprise to me on my first day! Over the coming months the acquisition went through and my career with Capstone began.

In those early days, there was no such thing as electronic case management – paper files were still in existence, panel papers were still photocopied and sent out in large jiffy bags in the mail. Panel minutes were taken by longhand in countless notebooks and the Carers Handbook was a massive file containing numerous photocopied documents which were handed out manually by supporting social workers!

Over time I have seen many changes, most of which have been introduced to make our working lives easier and safer.
As panel administrator I have had the opportunity and pleasure to be part of the fostering journey for many dedicated foster carers, some of whom have been with the agency for as long as I have and are still doing an amazing job supporting and making changes to the lives of dozens of children.

For a good many of my ten years I have worked with the same fabulous team of social workers and managers – individuals who have worked tirelessly to support their carers and the children placed with them.

During my career, which also included that of training co-ordinator for the South West, I have had the opportunity to get to know most of our foster carers in the region, and through the provision of tools and knowledge helped them develop their skills to become experienced carers.

Capstone has given me the opportunity and support to develop my own career over the years into one which I am extremely proud of. I still have a few years left to go and hopefully, the future will continue to develop and evolve, offering me new opportunities and challenges.

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

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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