We are a consistent member of the Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council private provider forums and we really believe that working together ensures that children and young people are kept safe, well looked-after and able to thrive. Equally, we pride ourselves on really getting to know our foster carers, providing them with opportunities to develop, grow and share their own knowledge and skills.
We value individuality – welcoming enquiries from those with a range of backgrounds, experiences and family situations; we genuinely have a “down-to-earth” approach to fostering, so we really don’t think there is ever a “silly” question someone can ask. Our professional and knowledgeable team are here to answer questions or provide help and useful tips on all subjects around fostering eg regarding involvement of birth children, short or long-term fostering, health and safety, school and education, transport – even the advantages of fostering over adoption etc.
Alison Tasker, our Senior Practitioner, who joined Capstone Foster Care in 2013, heads the office up. Alison has high expectations of the service and of the carers that she supports. Consequently, we have a growing group of highly skilled and child-focused foster carers.
Alison is a qualified and practicing Social Worker, with experience and a deep interest in children’s services and strengthening the link between strong empirical research and working practice. She is a Doctoral Candidate at Keele University with research interests involving improving outcomes for vulnerable and “at-risk” children and young people; with specific interests focusing on examining the notion of child sexual exploitation and exploring robust mechanisms by which to address issues of such risk. She previously sat on the Executive Board of the College of Social Work and is currently a Peer Reviewer at Research on Social Work Practice. She also possesses an MSc in Evidence Based Social Intervention (promoting the welfare of children and families) from the University of Oxford. For fun she has recently taken up running and will be completing the Stafford half marathon in 2016.
Effective matching is an important priority and the placement of children and young people is typically very settled and stable. The office is supported by colleagues in the main site in Kings Norton, Birmingham; these include our Regional Director, Sara Chambers Ross and our Placement and Recruitment Teams. We also have wider support from centralised Capstone support, advice and guidance.
Capstone make generous fostering allowance payments to all our foster parents and support them every step of the way to ensure positive outcomes for the children and young people in our care. Training and support is high on our list of priorities, ensuring our foster carers have the right “tools” to equip them to best meet the needs of the children and young people in their care. We have local support groups and training, which are always growing and developing, dependent on carer need and types of expertise required.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and accessible; by “being there” helps support carers, children and other professionals deal with things as they arise. We like to get out and about too.
We are regularly asked by local media to talk about fostering and foster carers; this has included BBC Radio Stoke, Six Towns Radio, Cross Rhythms and Stafford FM. We also like to attend Stoke Pride and plan to be there in 2016.
We have supported local sports and community groups for children and young people including Kidsgrove Rangers and Alison raised money for Peter Pan Nursery in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
If you would like more information about fostering in Staffordshire or indeed would like to join the Capstone team here in Stoke, please call us at your leisure on 01782 267 055 or click here.