Our Dartford Office support carers in Kent and surrounding areas as well as North East London – Waltham Forest, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge, Sutton and Croydon are just a few examples. We also support carers in Southend and Essex.
The Dartford team consists of a staff group of 17, offering admin, placement, finance and social work services. The Area Manager is Pete Johnstone and the social work Team Manager is Sandy. There are five supervising social workers – Sandra, Leeford, Helga, Sara and Susan, plus Tracy and Sarah who work in our Placement Team, playing a key role in liaising with local authorities and getting the right placement for looked after children – also working very closely with our foster carers, getting to know their skills and experience. We have two administrators in Mary and Kirstan, who keep the wheels turning in the organisation. Mary has been working with Capstone for many years. The finance team is headed up by Evelina who is ably supported by Maureen and Julia.
We support foster carers and foster families who live in Greater London and the surrounding areas within and outside of the M25. We have a strong staff team with a number of years of social work experience and fostering between us. We come from different social and ethnic backgrounds and we feel it is important that our staff team reflects the children that we care for and our foster carers.
Although we are geographically spread across a wide area, we take pride in the fact that we have local teams to support our carers. We work in partnership with local authorities in Greater London and surrounding areas and are preferred providers because of the excellent service we provide to their looked after children.
Local Authority Feedback about a carer at Capstone: “The care provided by “M” and “C” is outstanding and there are no concerns regarding the needs of “S” being met. It is impressive that they also provide “S” with food that is nutritionally balanced but her diet also considers the impact food can have on her health conditions. The diet provided for “S” does not include gluten, dairy or any other food products which are felt to worsen symptoms associated with Autism”.
We are very child focused and will only place children with a fostering family after we have taken a number of factors into consideration. For example, the carer’s ethnicity and religion, their experience and skills, other children in the household – these are just some of the considerations prior to us matching a child with a family.
We strongly believe in the importance of good outcomes for the children in our care and that their experience in care should be positive. Good outcomes can include, providing a child or young person with a stable and secure home, them attending higher education or vocational training, moving on to long term foster care or even adoption.
We are a medium sized agency looking to recruit foster carers who want to make a difference and who will share our vision of building brighter futures. We are looking for carers who are resilient and not easily phased and perhaps those looking to establish a career in fostering.
Children and young people come into care for a range of reasons and so we are looking for carers who are able to care for large sibling groups, teenagers, parent and child, children with disabilities, young people on remand or children with complex needs. We pay a good fostering allowance, which is dependant upon the placement circumstances.
We welcome people from all backgrounds, age and religion. Your sexuality will not prevent you from fostering.
Our foster carers receive monthly supervision – more if needed and we offer 24 hours support to our carers 365 days per year.
Our foster carer’s enjoy regular support groups that are normally two hours long, plus they have the opportunity to meet other carers and openly discuss a range of topics, which may be something related to the children in placement, financial, training, or anything else they wish. Generally two social workers facilitate these meetings, although discussions are carer-led.
Carer Feedback about Capstone: “The support from Capstone is always there and I know that someone will visit me whenever I need. My supervising social worker is “on the ball” – if I need something, I can speak with her and she gets it sorted for me.”
Children’s Consultation Groups are held for looked after children and birth children. These groups are for 2 age ranges, 5-10 years and 11-17 years and run for approximately two hours giving an opportunity for any looked after child/birth child to speak freely about anything whatsoever without the presence of their foster carer/parent. Games and quizzes are enjoyed followed by a lunch, with a £15.00 voucher for a High Street store also given to children who participate.
We think it is important that our looked after children, foster carers and birth children have the opportunity to comment about how we do things and encourage participation in the process. We do this by sending out yearly questionnaires to foster children, foster carers and birth children.
Our carers have said: “I have been with Capstone for 10 years and I would not be here if I did not feel they were a great agency to work with”. Comments from a birth child: “Quite happy with the Company and how much support is given to the foster children and my parents”.
Once a year we invite the Foster carer’s in the South East to meet with fellow carers, staff and managers informally for lunch. Capstone are very proud to offer excellent training courses for all foster carer’s, adult household members, adult birth children and their designated support/back up carers. This training is offered at regional offices or local venues chosen because of the location, which increases accessibility for our carers.
Feedback from our carers on the training they receive: “Thank you so much for today! You look after “K” and myself every single time we come to training. The food is always so very good and fresh, thank you. The Mental Health course today, was only 4 hours. Gosh, why couldn’t I have a week long one. “N” was brilliant, so full of Energy. We all said in the room how alive it was and how you wanted to be a part of the course. Thank you all so much for today. “L”
Every year our Foster Carer’s are given a choice of a summer activity to enjoy. In 2015, our trips, as chosen by the Foster Carer’s were LEGOLAND and Chessington World of Adventure. 150 tickets alone were purchased for Chessington and in 2014, a Harry Potter Studio Tour and Thorpe Park were enjoyed.
Both Ashford and West Sussex offices invite Foster Carer’s and foster children to additional activities, with picnicking at Leeds Castle, Children’s Consultation Day in October, tobogganing at a Folkestone Sports Centre with lunch and finally, a Christmas Panto with foster carers and foster children in both Ashford and West Sussex locations being invited.
Each year, Capstone South East invite all Foster Carers in the region to an annual party with last year’s being at the Tower Hotel overlooking the iconic Tower Bridge. Foster Carer’s together with staff enjoyed an evening of delicious food, drinks, entertainment and dancing.
Carer Feedback about Capstone: “We attended and enjoyed the Awards ceremony and party last year. I like the consultation groups for the children and going on outings with the children.”
If you would like more information in fostering across Greater London or indeed would like to join the Capstone team in Dartford, please call us on 01322 629 260 or click here.