Capstone Foster Care Blog

My girlfriend and I began our fostering journey 10 years ago but have been fostering with Capstone Foster Care for the last 7 years. My parents fostered so we always had children around the house when I was growing up and it was always something, I wanted to do myself. My girlfriend shared the same ambition and so we decided to become foster parents.

When explaining to our foster children about moving from fostering to adoption, we found it difficult to explain to them what was going to happen. The books we did find were about animals, there was nothing that they could relate to. This gave me the idea to write my own books for foster children that would help them understand what was going to happen through short sentences and illustrations.

Initially I wanted to use them to help children in our care but then thought it could also help other foster parents and the children in their care, so I decided to self-publish them on Amazon. The feedback I have received has been fantastic.

I get all of my inspiration from my foster children. When I don’t have a placement, I become blank but it’s when we have children with us, I will develop ideas based on what they are learning or growing through to try and make their experience better. I know my books have helped the children we have looked after and hopefully they will help many more.

My first book was called “My Forever Family”, and it’s about a young boy called Oliver as he goes through the ups and downs of the ‘fostering to adoption’ process. The book is simple and easy to understand with illustrations to help children of different ages. Being a foster carer myself, I struggled to find a simple way to explain the process to the young foster children, especially toddlers and young children that were moving on to ‘forever families’.

Then I came up with the idea for this book, a story of the basic process. It has helped me and my foster children and hopefully it will help many others.

My second book (He wants to be a Princess) is all about equality, inclusion and acceptance which was inspired by another foster child who was really interested in princess cartoons and toys – he loved them! We had no issues with this at all and my girlfriend even went out to buy him his own princess dress that he could wear around the house. That’s when I thought, there is a book here… Then, the very next day he changed his mind and wanted to be a dinosaur!

The story is told through rhyme with an ideal introduction to the ever-changing and more acceptable world we live in today. Teaching children that they can be whoever they want to be even if it doesn’t conform to other people’s views. Whether that’s being LGBTQ+ or just their fashion, career choice or even their choice of friends.

Anything is possible and they should be free to choose how they live their lives. What a boring place the world would be if we were all the same.

My latest book is called ‘Cedric’s Plan to Save the World’ which is all about educating children (and adults) about the environmental issues. A seagull called Cedric, travels around the world and sees the devastation caused by man, forest fires, global warming and littering – the world is a mess. He then meets little Susie who gives him the inspiration for his plan to save the world, but he is going to need the help of the readers (the children). Working together, Cedric knows that we can make the world a better place. It’s a delightful rhyming picture book that teaches and inspires children about the environment and encourages them to play their part.

This book was actually inspired by the little one we have in placement now who is currently learning about the environment in school and I felt this was an idea opportunity to help educate children in a fun and engaging way.

I just want to help people (children and adults) by educating them through storytelling. I really enjoy it and find it very therapeutic. I am always thinking of new stories and I am currently working on a new book which will be released in due course.

Please feel free to follow each story on Instagram:

@fostering_to_adoption
@he_wants_to_be_a_princess
@cedrics_plan_to_save_the_world

I really appreciate all of the support and if you would like to order any of the stories discussed, they are available on Amazon, here: www.bit.ly/nbrookes


I found myself in foster care when I was younger, and as a result met an array of people, from foster carers to social workers and while my experiences with these people differed, I knew when I was older, I wanted to make a difference.

It took one person to make a difference to my life, they supported me and helped me to change and it got me to wondering what I could do to be that ‘one’ to change someone else’s life.

At the age of 25, 8 years ago, I became a residential support worker. Prior to this I had various jobs, but nothing that had felt right.

As I grew in my role as a support worker, I began to take on more senior roles and supported others with their training and professional development. I had an interest in the care sector and now apply myself to different roles supporting looked after children.

I used my experience of being in care to offer an insight that wouldn’t usually be so freely shared with my peers. And while I shared part of myself there were still parts that were too private to talk about however, I was able to offer a different perspective, a listening ear and offer advice and encourage mindfulness and assess the impact of some behaviours that could be trigger certain emotions in children in care.

I am able to sit around a table speaking about a child and their progress or difficulties and can relate to some circumstances, understand barriers differently, then use my motivation and understanding to advocate for that young person who feels left behind and lost, because after all that was me once.

I look back at my own experience and think ‘did I feel safe?’, ‘did I feel wanted?’, ‘did I want to invest in all these people claiming to care for my welfare?’ and ‘was school enjoyable for me when my mind was full of unanswered questions about what was going to happen next?’. Building that self-awareness has been really important for me, so now I always encourage this for others.

When you experience being in care you can develop the ability to read people well. I apply this in my role on fostering panels now where I have a voice in approving people to become foster carers. When I read the information about families applying to become carers, my focus is always on the motivation. I enjoy meeting potential foster families face to face because meeting them first-hand can also tell you a lot about someone. I sit and think to myself, ‘would I like to live with that person or family?’.

Fostering can be hard and I know at times it can be a challenge, so I look for resilience in carers. Sometimes the turn around is right after the challenge, so I always encourage people to think outside the box and persevere where possible. I would not be where I am now had I not of had my life and the experiences that came with it.

As an adult, who works with children in care my main motivation is to instil them with hope for a future, hope for the now and hope that others keep the faith in them. I had someone instil hope in me and look where I am now?


Young Carers Awareness Day is an annual event, led by Carers Trust, and is taking place today, on 30 January 2020.

Every day across the UK thousands of young people help to look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.

According to the Carers Trust, recent research shows that one in five secondary school children may be a young carer. For many, their caring journey begins at a much younger age. Caring for someone can be very isolating, worrying and stressful. For young carers, this can negatively impact on their experiences and outcomes in education, having a lasting effect on their life chances.

However, being a young carer isn’t always about a young person caring for their parents, grandparents and/ or their guardians.

Many young people that find themselves in foster care have been assuming the role of carer to their younger siblings. This can be due to parents poor health, parents being absent due to working long hours and working multiple jobs to provide for their family, and addictions along  with mental  issues can also mean that parents may be absent physically or absent emotionally.

When these children who have been taking care of their siblings for a long period of time find themselves placed with a foster care family there is often a period of adjustment for older siblings, not only to the new of environment but also getting use to having someone take care of them as they are so use to being the who provides the care.

Giving up the caring role can difficult for some young people as many of the place a great deal of responsibility on themselves by being ‘in charge’ and/ or taking care of younger siblings. They identify as being the person who is needed by their siblings and so can feel worried or unwanted by the change in dynamic.

Young people with younger siblings need to be encouraged to spread their wings and socialise, find activities and hobbies they enjoy doing, along with allowing their carer in the to meet their needs and the needs of their younger siblings.

A Capstone carer said:

“When LP first came to live with us it was as if we lived with a 30 year old in 12 years old body. He had worries no 12 year old should have, he had given himself so much responsibility.

Naturally, he would try to tend to his siblings and we had to explain to him that this was our role as his care givers. He felt as if he wasn’t needed anymore so we focused on encouraging him to focus on himself.

We enrolled him into clubs and he started making new friends and spending time outside of his club with his new friends. His siblings still loved him and needed him around but he needed to be a 12 year old little boy.”

Today LP thrives having learnt to trust his carers not only with himself but also with his siblings. He has been able flourish and a big brother and not the guardian.


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