Hayley Bancroft and Jo Kelly have been holding a three week girls group to promote positive self-esteem, body image and healthy relationships.

The aims of each session changed slightly to suit the needs of the young people that attended. 4 young girls have attended each week.

The weeks was broken down as follows:
Week 1- Ice Breakers, work around Hayley getting to know them, Self-esteem, your own personal shield. The things that were important to help them feel safe.
Week 2- Their home environment and what people contribute positively around them towards their self-esteem.
Week 3- What you should wear on a date, they also made pizza and cakes as a treat and also decided to do make overs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the young people T said ‘It’s been better than I thought it would be’ another young person ‘ asked can we meet every week?’

Hayley and Jo said ‘ it was a great success and it was nice to see the young people interacting positively with each other’

The group was a success and the young people have decided to meet every 8 weeks. Capstone North will be also looking at holding a boys group and then also a mixed young people group


Capstone Barnsley invited carers to meet the new regional director, Catherine Lockett where a lively discussion took place, with updates being given and views ascertained. Children’s achievements were celebrated on our Megaphone –“Something to shout about” poster and carer’s suggestions were welcomed, with updates being given about the successful results of their ideas over the past year. Also. Ideas about flexible training options were explored with carers and their views ascertained.

The carers enjoyed looking at the photos we took of the children enjoying the Christmas party with their face paints, presents and decorated cakes. One of the carers told us at the group, when capturing children’s views that the child she took to the Barnsley region Christmas party said that he wanted a party like that for his birthday, as he had enjoyed it so much! We also had other photos on display of children’s achievements, the foster carer’s Christmas meal and carer’s participation in marketing events, training and support groups.

The day was a great success with lots of new ideas for the forthcoming year ahead.

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I’ve lost count of how many parents I’ve heard talking about how quickly kids grow up, and how you should appreciate every minute you have with them. As a teacher, I’ve always felt the same, and I’ve always been more than a little sad every time the kids I work with ‘graduate’ into a different class, school, or life adventure. For some reason though, I never really saw it coming with fostering.

I think maybe this is because when you have a placement, you have no idea how long it will last. The child may ultimately be reunited in the family home with their parents. The placement might just be a trial for all parties. The whole thing may just break down and be called to a halt for one of a hundred reasons or factors. With all of this in mind, you focus very much on the short term, at least until things begin to settle and pictures begin to form.

You also have to realise with a foster child, that just because that child has joined your family and you’re no doubt doing everything you can to integrate them into your life and home, that child may not respond in the way you may hope or expect. They certainly don’t owe you any kind of unconditional love, that’s for sure. As a result of all of this, you really don’t think about enjoying every minute – you think very much in the here and now, and you are always just a little bit on edge in preparation for something to happen that you just can’t control. It’s natural to assume though, that the longer you have that placement, the harder it’s going to be for you when it ends.

With The Boy, after just 10 months of living with us, the plan from day one had always been to work hard to ensure he had the option of going on to start at university after he’d finished his college studies. On the day he left to start that adventure, my heart broke.

I’ve since been ‘reminded’ by someone whose opinion I neither asked nor cared for, that “it’s not the same” as when other parents cry on university moving out/in day, because “he’s never been your baby”. Well I can’t argue with the biological facts of the latter half of that statement, but I still cried my eyes out when I got back in my car after spending the afternoon on campus moving him into his Halls.

Why did I cry? Was it that he was being taken away from me? No – he’s his own person and has made a logical choice to go and start a life at university. Was it that I was going to have to make the transition from spending every hour with him to not seeing him at all? No – whilst he lived with us he had a better social life and active calendar than I did and was rarely at home anyway!

Instead, the answer to why I cried was because I was caught up in a moment of transition and realisation. I’d played some part in helping this amazing lad build the structures he needed to go off to enjoy a life he’d deserved from day one; a life with a chance to succeed, a life of trying out new things, and a life of knowing that wherever and whatever he moves on to, there would always be someone back home who loves him and supports him. My role was complete.

The Boy would now need me less and less each day, after I’d tried to do in one year what someone should have been able to do for him for the previous 17. I’d done a good thing, I think, and while I was of course happy and proud, I felt an emptiness.

And so, going back to that most helpful and supportive of comments about it not being “the same”… I’d agree – it’s not the same, because in some ways, it’s so much worse.


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