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 the 15th December, staff, carers, looked after children and young people all came together from our Barnsley office and celebrated at their Christmas party and enjoyed all the festive fun, activities and food! All the children took it in turns to visit Santa in his grotto and received a present each. The day was fun packed with activities such as making Christmas crafts, handmade cards and tree decorations to give to their loved ones. The staff even made a Christmas photo booth and helped the children decorate cupcakes.

The day ended with a buffet, Christmas treats and a DJ and some of our young people joined in with the karaoke as well! It really is a joy to see staff, carers and children all come together and celebrate as a big family.

Thank you to everyone who came along and we’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


Our mentors offer non-judgemental support from a position of understanding as foster carers themselves. They are here to help improve confidence, skills and practices of new or less experienced foster carers.

Adele has been fostering for over 10 years were she has cared for babies to teenagers, sibling groups and children with disabilities. Her passion for Looked After Children and commitment to advocating for their needs to be met puts her in an excellent position when it comes to acting as a Peer Mentor – promoting the foster carer role, whilst using her knowledge and experience to support others effectively.

Additionally, Michelle has been a foster carer with Capstone for 8 years, and more recently she has volunteered to become our LGBT Champion. Her background in this area is from having a close number of friends from the LGBT community, and being a passionate advocate for equality and diversity. To date she has been involved in supporting Capstone Foster Care with reviewing policies, and providing reviews on books for young people exploring their identity.

Furthermore, Liz began her fostering career back in 2010 and has gone on to care for children of all ages and from a variety of cultures, many with additional needs and behavioural issues. All have benefitted from her warm and empathic approach and she wanted to extend this support to those new to fostering or those experiencing difficulties. She hopes to help carers feel less isolated and more at ease when it comes to them understanding their roles and responsibilities.

Nina has gained valuable experience through her 6 years of fostering with Capstone Foster Care she has looked after children aged 5 months to teenagers each with their own diverse issues and problems. She has a wealth of knowledge to share especially with the mother and baby placements she has supported.

Finally, Simone unfortunately wasn’t present when the photo was being taken, Simone became a foster carer 4 years ago and has since demonstrated her ability to remain level-headed and child-focused in some particularly difficult situations. Her calm and nurturing responses have enabled her to connect with young people quickly, developing a mutually respectful environment where they have flourished as individuals. Through becoming a Peer Mentor Simone would like to think she could offer encouragement to help develop confidence in others, enabling placements to become more secure, happy places.


Left to Right: Adele (Peer Mentor), Michelle (LGBT Champion and Peer Mentor),
Liz (Peer Mentor) & Nina (Peer Mentor).


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