Amelia and Crispin decided to foster before beginning their own family and thought long and hard about the fostering process and through Skills to Foster were able to get a sense of the rewarding path they have chosen.
We have recently been approved as new carers with Capstone. We decided to foster before beginning our own family as we have thought long and hard about the fostering process.
Since 2011, I worked as an assistant manager as part of a jewellery company before deciding to serve my notice to take on the responsibility of fostering full time. Working in retail had been a great experience however, I had always wanted my work to make a real difference to a child’s life.
Crispin is a qualified social worker who works as part of children’s services for the local authority. I have learnt a lot from Crispin’s experience as a social worker and we had often spoken about the need for foster carers throughout his career. I was always shocked and saddened by the reasons why children come into care. These experiences made me stop and think about how we could help to make a difference.
As a couple we spoke about the possibility of fostering for a couple of years. I had started to feel less satisfied with my professional role in retail and I started looking to do something completely different, something that was demanding but rewarding. Through Crispin’s work he has the chance to meet with other professionals linked to fostering. Crispin began talking to one of the local authority’s panel members who recommended that we began fostering with Capstone Foster Care. After further conversations we really felt it was something we wanted to start looking into more. The panel member gave us our local office number to call and following a serious discussion as a couple we decided to start the process and contacted Capstone Foster Care.
I contacted the office and spoke to Adam at Capstone and an initial home visit was arranged. Adam came to our house and answered all our initial questions in detail, he was able to provide us with a realistic overview of being a foster parent. Adam also arranged for both me and Crispin to attend a three-day course called Skills to Foster. Skills to Foster is a pre- approval training course which is a comprehensive course offered to all applicants who are on their journey to becoming a foster carer. The course gave us the confidence to believe that we could fulfil the foster carer role and highlighted the inevitable challenges we could face but also the rewarding side of fostering.
It was obvious to us that fostering was going to be a rewarding path, so we decided to proceed with the assessment process and within seven months we were approved as foster carers. The process took longer than average for us however, this is because we had a family holiday planned. Capstone was very accommodating and ensured we went to panel and were approved after we arrived home from our time away.
After we became approved as foster parents, we had a meeting with the placement officer from Capstone and began creating the carer profiles for us both. The placement officer was completely involved with our matching criteria and would only call with suitable matches of children that would work as our first placement. Capstone was great at pushing for more information from the local authority to ensure the match would be suitable for me and Crispin being new carers. Within two weeks we welcomed two new little faces into our home. We were so excited as a family to welcome the children although a little apprehensive at first.
The support and network of professionals we have encountered has made us feel part of a family. We feel completely at ease with how the children are settling in and couldn’t be happier with the support from our social worker Vicky. Vicky was always contactable everyday throughout the first few weeks of the children being placed here and would even call us on her day off to make sure everything was going well. Although now we require her less as routines have been formed however, we know we can always call her at any moment. We are loving seeing the children grow with confidence.
The training we have already undertaken has been outstanding and we have also had the privilege of being buddied up with existing experienced carers as part of the peer mentor scheme and other newly approved carers who have come through the process at the same time. We are all excited to attend more social events and the children can’t wait to attend other social outings.
I would not hesitate to recommend Capstone Foster Care to anyone who is looking to make a difference to a child’s life, just take the leap and start the fostering process.