25th June, 2021
Are you thinking of becoming a foster carer, but have no clue where to start? This series of blogs written by DT, a newly approved foster carer, offers a first-hand account about the process, from making that initial decision, right through to getting approved. Read DT’s previous blog here.
I hit send to the Capstone’s Facebook Ad to start my fostering journey and within 5 minutes I received a reply.
I was asked a series of very straightforward questions:
I then typed my longest reply ever. I was excited to say why I wanted to become a foster carer and share some lovely photos of my home and the animals that lived with me. But I also had to deal head on with my less than textbook past, explain the circumstances which lead me to having a criminal record and explain how I have overcome my difficulties and turned my life around. I thought “that’s that then; the reply will be a no”. But instead of hearing “no”, the call I received in response was warm and positive, saying that my experiences could help a child. I cried as this mattered so much to me. We chatted further and I was told I would get a follow-up call.
I got a call a few days later and the Virtual Home Visit was booked for the 8th September 2020 with Leona from the South West. Along with meeting request, I also received a very detailed 20-page pdf about Capstone which was excellent, as I had so many questions flying around my head. It included a job description, the requirements for fostering, the approval process, what checks would be carried out, pre-approval training and more about Capstone Foster Care.
I thought, wow so many stages and about the fact that it would take 3-4 months. I wondered how I was going to get through it all. I knew that my desire to be a foster carer alone wasn’t enough. I had to be the right person, as there was a child that really needed someone they could rely on. I was curious about how I would feel about having a social worker carrying out an assessment and then going to panel.
The day before the virtual video visit, I was really nervous, and so I put all my nervous energy into cleaning my house from top to bottom. Looking back, I can laugh now as clearly Leona wasn’t going to see how spotless the skirting boards were! But I wanted everything to be just right.
The virtual visit was amazing. Leona was really friendly and asked me my motivation for fostering whilst we did a tour of the house inside and outside. I was so uncharacteristically open with a stranger about the trickier parts of my life, but it was like talking to an old friend. Leona put me at ease right from the start of the call. When I put the phone down, I felt so relieved and silly to have worried so much, as all Capstone wanted was to see the suitability of my house, have a chat and to get to know me a bit better.
It was left that I would get a call within a couple of weeks to let me know if I could proceed on to the next stage, which would be completing an application form. Leona left me a voicemail in the evening on 29th September 2020 saying, “great news all systems go”. I couldn’t wait to tell the family the amazing news!
You can find DT's next blog about the formal application process to becoming a foster carer here.
If DT's story is inspiring you to enquire about becoming a foster carer, don't hesitate to get in touch!
If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.