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.


Community Psychiatric Nurse, Team Leader – Georgina Cadby-Fisher, who has been working in mental health for 3 years has written an advice piece on how to spot the signs and provide support to somebody who is self-harming.

Georgina Cadby Fisher

What is self-harm?

So what do we mean by Self-harm? Self-harm is when you hurt yourself as a way of dealing with very difficult feelings, painful memories or overwhelming situations and experiences that feel out of control. It can be the thing people turn to when they feel they have no other option.

Signs of potential self-harm:

There are not always obvious signs that somebody close to you may have begun self harming. But there are some signs you can look out for:

  • Unexplained cuts, bruises or burns
  • Wearing more clothing than usual to cover any evidence of self harm
  • Changes in eating or becoming secretive/obsessive about eating
  • Unusual weight loss or weight gain

So why do people self-harm?

There are many reasons people self-harm, such as being bullied, stress, bereavement, experiencing a form of abuse whether that’s sexual, physical or emotional.

  • If people are angry, self-harming can be a form of release of pent up anger or emotion
  • Self-harm can be a form of control for people if they feel they have no control over other aspects of their life
  • It can be for psychological reasons such as hearing voices that tell them to do it

Advice for people living with somebody that self-harms

Living with somebody or watching people close to you self harm can be difficult and distressing but there are things you can do to help:


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


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