We have Jennifer, our Recruitment Co-ordinator, she is usually the first person you will talk to when you make a fostering enquiry. There are five Social Workers – Purdy, Dawn, Sarah, Tina and Laura, and it is their job to look after the foster carers. They are all very experienced social workers with a range of expertise. They are all very committed professionals who have been with Capstone for many years. That is, they are all happy in their career and the work they do in supporting our foster carers.
A great team of administrators, Martina, Helen, Donna and Wendy, support our social workers and they are always willing to help. We also have a support worker, Anna, who helps with some of the children and young people in organising participation groups and one to one work.
A quote from one of our foster carers about Social Worker, Sarah:
“Sarah has a very genuine quality about her and is a ‘real people person’ and we know that we can talk openly to her about anything. She has a great insight and understanding of the ups and downs of fostering family life and her genuine and caring approach has empowered us to feel very confident in ourselves as foster carers. Sarah has impacted on us greatly and we are so very happy now and so lucky to have her as our Social Worker”. (Allison – Foster Carer)
We ensure that our social workers have low caseloads so they are able to build and maintain strong relationships with each foster carer they support. Our support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Capstone foster carers and staff feel part of a family and we have a “can do” attitude in everything we do.
We pride ourselves on the therapeutic support and training we offer our carers that makes us unique; from our local office we are able to provide carers and staff with advanced training and experience in attachment theory, working as a professional team around the child.
We have a number of therapists working for us who provide one-to-one support for carers and are able to undertake direct therapy with children. They offer carers training in PACE as well as training for staff. They also offer support groups to carers on a regular basis.
Ofsted Feedback about Capstone’s Therapeutic Approach: “the agency has a therapeutic approach to the provision of high quality care. These “golden threads” of practice permeate throughout the agency’s work and contribute to the delivery of an outstanding quality of care to children and young people looked after”.
We work very closely with our Local Authority partners in Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Cornwall, with whom we have an excellent reputation. This gives us a preferred provider status with Local Authorities. This status is important for foster carers, as it ensures our services and foster carers are prioritised to support children in need of foster care.
Local Authority Commissioner feedback about Capstone: “Capstone are extremely helpful, responsive and very child focused. We find them to be very creative and willing to think outside the box to find the best solution for the child and carers”.
Capstone have a “Good” Ofsted report with “Outstanding Features”; that include “Outcomes for Children”, and “Quality of Service”. Children at Capstone achieve well at school, for example: from September 2014 – October 2015 of the children taking exams at 16yrs: 38.4% attained 5 A* – C grades (inc English and Maths) – compared to the National Average of 14% for children in care.
We offer stable, safe and loving placements for the children and young people. Some very positive feedback from some of our children and Young People include: “I love being here”; “I couldn’t be anywhere better”; “they know what I’m like”; and “they couldn’t do anymore for me than they already do.”
Children are encouraged to participate in what we do. They are involved in organising activities throughout the year.
At Capstone in Devon and Cornwall we also specialise in Parent and Child placements. We offer these placements over a twelve week period to assess parents in the ability to look after their child or children. Parent and child fostering gives parents the best possible opportunity to develop parenting skills in a safe home where both parent and child are supported by a foster carer.
Feedback from a Local Authority commissioner about Capstone Parenting Assessment: “the social worker for the “L” placement has just been telling me how impressed she is with Capstone and the parenting assessment – it is clear you were being very fair and professional and it was a very good quality assessment”.
Many of our foster carers agree that Capstone is one of the best fostering agencies available across the whole of Devon and Cornwall. We are proud of our great team of foster carers, social workers and support staff that provide a high quality of care for vulnerable children and young people across the region.
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer and have patience, a caring attitude and a willingness to go the extra mile please give us a call on 01626 323 840.