Capstone Foster Care Blog

To celebrate Book Lover’s Day this year, some of our fabulous foster carers from our North team have reviewed some of their favourite books which are relevant to fostering!

Book Review by Nina, Foster Carer for Capstone North.

Title – Charley Chatty and the Wiggly Worry Worm: A story about insecurity and attention-seeking (Therapeutic Parenting Books) By Sarah Naish and Rosie Jefferies.

These books are really useful, I am sure, as experienced foster carers we have all had a child that talks for England about nothing… whether it be because they are worrying or just to make sure you are close by, I know I have. They give workable strategies to use when dealing with emotional and behavioral difficulties which can sometimes emerge when our children have had not such a good start in life for what ever reason.

They are great for any child to look through, alone or together with carers, and relate to the feelings, emotions and thoughts that “Charley” is experiencing.


Book Review by Michelle, Foster Carer for Capstone North.

Title – Sophie Spikey. By Sarah Naish and Rosie Jefferies.

This book is a fabulous tool for both children and adults to work together with.  It shows the anxiety that a child with attachment disorder following trauma suffered in early years displays. In the book Sophie cannot ask for help and tries to be totally independent from her mother (care giver) and is scared of being shamed if she admits to loosing her new shoes.  In my experience caring for a young man who has severe attachment disorder this total lack of trust in adults and the need to control every aspect of his life, making decisions without knowledge of the consequences and refusing help with everything is a copy of how Sophie is and how she tries to cope.

Children with any form of trauma related attachment issues will often develop behaviours that can, and do, interfere with their ability to attach appropriately to their caregiver, they will often be independent, angry when faced with a problem that they try to solve without help, they can be withdrawn or in some cases will be overly clingy and very needy in their demands. I would recommend this book not only for younger children but also for the older children as the strategies used by the mother and the similarities of the difficulties the young person will struggle with can be adapted for all ages.

 

Book Review by Adele, Foster Carer for Capstone North & Adoptive Carer.

Title – William Wobbly and the mysterious holey jumper!! By Sarah Naish and Rosie Jefferies.

This book is an absolute must read for any foster carers, adoptive parents, social workers and teaching staff.  As I started to read the book this could have quite easily have been my adopted son who was fostered prior to adoption. Any change no matter how small causes anxiety and worry, but for children who have suffered trauma this is compounded. Hiding under desks, chewing jumpers and hiding are all traits that my son displayed in his primary school. My 11 year old son read the book and said, ‘this could be me mum’. He recognised immediately that the wobbly feelings in his tummy were very real. Every primary school teacher should have a copy of the book as I am sure they can relate it to pupils they have and are teaching. Well done a brilliant user friendly book.

 

Book Review by Nina, Foster Carer for Capstone North.
Title – Who feels scared? By Sue Graves

Great short stories, fun and easy to share with young children, very well illustrated which gives lots of things to chat about. It shows that it’s only natural to be scared at times, at some point we all feel a little afraid of the unknown, but with the help of carers and friends to reassure and explain things everything will be alright. The book, hopefully, also makes children more aware of the fears and feelings of others. Great strategies to use to help children talk about their experiences etc

 

Book Review by Nina, Foster Carer for Capstone North.
Not fair, Won’t Share. By Sue Graves

Again, great short story with fun illustrations. Good to share with any young children, showing its much nicer to share and have lots of friends by being nice to others. Gets children talking about how they feel and how other children feel when left out, not invited to play, how to control our feelings, etc.


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


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