Ofsted confirm Capstone Foster Care (North) have been awarded outstanding at their recent inspection.

Staff at Capstone Foster Care based in the North of England are celebrating today after Ofsted rated the independent fostering agency ‘Outstanding’.

Ofsted have deemed the agency as outstanding for a number of reasons and inspectors acknowledged, “The lives of fostered children and young people are significantly enhanced by the work of this agency. It helps to achieve excellent outcomes for them and enables them to make exceptional progress in most areas of their lives.”

The inspectors also praised the staff, “The management of the agency has developed a highly motivated, enthusiastic and energetic group of staff, who are ambitious for the children and young people.”

Children and young people had their say too, about their experiences with their carers with one saying, “I know I always have someone to talk to. My carers are great. They’ve given me a voice and I am now more able to talk about things that worry me.”

Connie Robertson-Gurie who spoke with the Ofsted inspectors during the inspection said, “It’s absolutely brilliant that Capstone Foster Care (North) have been given an outstanding rating. I can’t fault the support and training I have had from the team and as a young foster carer it’s been great to feel like part of the family.”

The report, which followed a five-day inspection carried out in February noted that, “There is strong, competent and effective leadership at all levels within the agency.”

Capstone Foster Care have been assessed on three inspection judgements, and received a rating of Outstanding against all three:

  • Overall experiences and progress of children and young people
  • How well children and young people are helped and protected
  • The effectiveness of leaders and managers

Catherine Lockett said, “I am delighted that Ofsted have recognised all the excellent work undertaken by all our staff and carers. There are many comments I am pleased with but to hear inspectors say that Capstone Foster Care (North) achieve excellent outcomes for our children and young people confirm that we are building brighter futures.”

Capstone Foster Care recruits, assesses and supports foster carers to provide a range of long- and short-term placements for children and young people on behalf of the local authorities who commission its services.

As a country, we need more than 6,800 foster carers in the next 12 months. There are currently record numbers of children in care, and around 13% of foster carer workforce are retiring or leaving every year (source: Fostering Network). Becoming a foster carer, or a foster family, is becoming increasingly more important to cope with the high demand of children and young people who get placed into care, often from a young age.

There are 14,070 looked after Children in the North West and 8,190 in Yorkshire and Humber – the two areas which are covered by Capstone Foster Care (North) division and each week, the Capstone Foster Care teams based in Heywood, Barnsley and Bradford receive up to 300 referrals for children and young people needing foster homes.

About Capstone Foster Care

Capstone Foster Care is an independent fostering agency with offices and hundreds of carers across England who are available to help foster children build brighter futures.

At the time of this inspection, the North based agency provided placements to around 155 children in 120 fostering households.

On Wednesday 11th April, we celebrated Easter in style with all our children and foster parents. Everyone had a truly amazing day and we couldn’t be more thankful to all those who came along.

Children enjoyed making crafts including Easter bonnets and cards, we had a football shootout, Safari Steve with all his retiles and creepy crawlies and a face painter who created the most wonderful artwork on everyone’s faces!

Children lined up to hold the tarantula named Pete while many of the staff and parents hid behind them! They absolutely loved hearing about all the animals and how to care for them and because Steve was so popular we are delighted to announce he will be back at the next event – so please do come along!

Being part of the Capstone family means you will regularly be invited to our ongoing activity days, events for all the families and support groups for our wonderful carers. If you would like to find out more about fostering, please call: 0800 012 4004 or visit our website: www.capstonefostercare.co.uk


To H,

Where to start! Wow, 18, what a milestone and I am so glad to be here to see this moment.

I wanted to mark this birthday with some of my recollections of your journey.

You arrived at George and Rob’s home in April 2012 at the age of 11 years and 2 months. My first memories of you are of a young girl who was timid and unsure.

At first, we thought you would only stay 28 days however, we could see you needed to know where and with whom you would be living with so, with Maria’s hard work, we challenged Bradford and they agreed that you could stay. I was thrilled.

I remember you having to come along to our social events and how uncomfortable you looked; but you came which was an achievement in itself.

Slowly, as you got to know me better you started to relax. I was able to learn more about you, what you liked, your quick sense of humour.

I remember us doing some sessions, when we thought about things you were finding difficult. There was one piece of work we did that I will always remember. We drew your two families placing people on the page at different distances from you to reflect how close you felt to them. I was blown away by your insight and honesty.

Another stand out moment for me, was when you agreed to do skills to foster training. What a great day to show how you were growing in confidence. To stand up in front of strangers to help them learn about foster care was so brave.

If I remember right, you were a difficult/ personal question by one of the applicants and you handled it with great maturity. The feedback from the course was that you had done a great job, as I knew you would. It is invaluable applicants learning from young people like you.

My next big memory of you is around the support you gave to J another young person in care who needed some guidance and support. I know this was out of your comfort zone, so I really appreciated you agreeing. The best moment was at Lightwater Valley when you took J and E under your wing. It was a proud moment for me.

George shared with me the English Essay you wrote, it is one of the best pieces of work I have ever read. I knew we needed to use it to benefit other young people and foster families, so I was thankful when you agreed we could use it for the Capstone Video competition (Of which you were the clear winner! 🙂 Watching you read your essay about what family is, is one moment that has validated my career as a Social Worker, so that H, I thank you!

Next! Kerry’s interview! Talk about going from strength to strength. I knew you had the skills and knowledge to help us choose the right new social worker for our team. Your feedback on applicants showed your maturity- It was fair, considered and very much valued. Vivienne, Team Manager + Mary, Registered Manager, were so impressed with your feedback + they trusted it.

And now into your final year “formally” in foster care how you have grown. Planning holidays, developing relationships, studying hard, learning to drive. Confident, delightful, ambitious. I could not be prouder.
All you have done while I have known you. Your tolerance of parents and children who have needed George and Rob’s help, your honesty, your insight- I have gained so much working with you.

Now you are 18 and planning university such exciting time. I have no doubt you have the capacity to achieve what you set your mind to. You have made incredible progress in the time I have known you and achieved so much. It has been a genuine privilege being part of your journey, and as for your post 18 journey I hope we can still be a small part of it.

I am proud of you and wish for you a future filled with joy and fulfilment.

Happy Birthday
From Debbie 🙂

Open Letter to Holly

1 2 3 24