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DT’s Journey to Becoming a Foster Carer – Step 1, The Decision

18th June, 2021

It took a pandemic for me to make the best decision of my life, to apply to become a foster carer with Capstone Foster Care. I saw people doing so much for others and felt I needed to do more. I had requested a brochure about fostering around 10 years ago, but back then it was clear that I didn’t have the availability that children in foster care would need. I heard an advert on the radio about fostering last year and thought, what was my excuse this time? 

I had been fortunate in my life. The mistakes I had made as an angry out of control teenager and young adult had not stopped me achieving my dream of having my smallholding. A far cry from my six months in HMP Holloway some 30 years ago.

My life changed direction when someone gave me positive messages and saw past my “bad kid” label. I wanted to do the same for other young people. I knew I really did relate to children; I had been involved with my nieces and nephews from an early age and two of them live with me now with their partners.

I had worked hard, qualified as a Chartered Accountant, and I’d had my own business for over 20 years. During this time, I always tried to help young people through apprenticeships and work experience. I often employed people who needed a second chance. I had spent many years rescuing dogs, horses and recently sheep and goats. I have lots of open space and I kept thinking if a child just needed to be able to run or just go and cuddle the horses, what a therapeutic place this would be for them, as it was for me.

But would I be able to become a foster carer?

  •  I had a criminal record.
  • I was a single 56yr old.
  • I needed to lose some weight.
  • I did need to still work.
  • I’d never had my own children.
  • My outside space needed so much doing to make it safe for children.

How was I ever going to get past the first stage?

I did a search on fostering and Capstone came up along with some other agencies. I went straight to the “FAQ” section; could I foster if I had a criminal record, and if I was overweight? It seemed that it wasn’t a straight no.

I spent a few weeks revisiting Capstone’s website, as it had that caring feeling, and it had such a positivity about it.

Whilst on Facebook, an ad from Capstone popped up. It was 14th August 2020 at 10:19 pm and I knew at that moment that I had to make a decision. Apply to become a foster carer, it was now or never, and I couldn’t bear the thought of never. The prompt “What are the requirements to Foster” came up and I was about to send it but stopped myself. This would have an impact on the 3 other adults in the household, so I discussed it with them, and they were all so supportive.  So, on the 17th August 2020 at 08:19 I hit send button and changed my life forever.

Thank you so much to DT for sharing the beginning of her journey to becoming a foster carer. Stay tuned for a series of blogs as DT brings to life the process, from making that initial decision to being approved. If you have thought about becoming a foster carer, but feel unsure regarding your own situation, why not get it touch for an informal chat?

You can find DT's next blog about the initial enquiry and home visit here.

 

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