It’s very easy to have a pre-defined idea about what kind of people become foster carers – older married couples whose children have flown the nest and have large houses in the countryside…? This couldn’t be further from the truth. At Capstone we welcome people from all walks of life, races, religions and creeds to take on this important role.
More so than ever before, there are children and young people who need support, care and a loving family environment, and as their numbers grow, so does the need for excellent carers. This is where you come in. People who have careers in the Emergency Services already possess a lot of the skills required to become great foster carers. Patience, understanding, resilience and training in how to handle difficult circumstances are just a few of those skills – and just because you already have a career, it doesn’t mean you don’t have the time or the facilities to look after a child or young person.
Zeeshaan is a Policeman from the South East and has grown up in a fostering environment for over 15 years. His parents became foster carers when he was a teenager, and so growing up with foster brothers and sisters was a huge part of his life. The family currently have 3 teenagers in placement, and Zeeshaan has recently been approved as a back up carer by his Local Authority, meaning he can share the load with his parents in order to provide better quality care and support.
“Fostering has had a huge impact on my career, I graduated from university with a master’s degree in management and was ready to work in that field. However, this was at the peak of the recession and jobs were not easy to come by, and so I was offered the chance to do some youth work with young people. I already had experience in this due to being part of a fostering family. I thoroughly enjoyed it and got a promotion within 2 months! I also attended training with The Fostering Network to sit on a fostering panel.
As I had been part of a fostering household, it gave me good insight into how new and existing foster carers should be. Every example and contribution I give at panel is always from experience as I have had a ‘hands-on’ approach to fostering. I now sit on 6 fostering panels, and am Vice Chair to 3 of them.”
The next turn in Zeeshaan’s career was to train and become a policeman for the Metropolitan Police – taking him right out of his comfort zone.
“I find being a police officer just as rewarding as fostering, as I am helping people. I spend a lot of my time dealing with young offenders, and I feel from my experience both as a foster carer and as a police officer, I am able to relate to young people quite easily. Being a police officer gives me perspective from the other side when dealing with young people and I have gained a lot of transferable skills from these roles. I believe when professionals work together, from social workers to foster carers and the courts, the best outcome for the child will be achieved”
Zeeshaan is a foster carer, and is working with us to encourage other police officers, fire fighters and other Emergency Service workers to consider using their valuable skills to become foster carers themselves. Within this career set, there is also an option to retire earlier than in other professions, giving them the time and experience to dedicate to a second career within fostering.
If you think this might be the next step forward for you, why not complete our online enquiry form or call us for a no obligation chat on: 0800 012 4004. If you need any further information about fostering, please call us or take a tour of our website which should provide answers to any questions you may have.