Having supported adults with learning difficulties in their own homes, Clive and Bev started to enquire about fostering when their own children had flown the nest.
We had spoken to a friend whose mother had fostered for many years so we decided to explore the idea of fostering ourselves, we did some research and the idea became more appealing.
Capstone Foster Care was recommended to us by our friend’s mother and we decided to give them a call. After this conversation, a home visit was arranged. We had an informal chat about our expectations and started the assessment process. An application form was sent to us and we were on our way.
When we began the assessment process we found it quite intrusive, myself more so than Bev. Although awakening some forgotten memories I found it very beneficial giving me the opportunity to reflect on my life, and convincing me that we could offer more than just a safe & caring home. We both found the assessment process tricky as interviews are not an experience we look forward to. Our supervising social worker did make the process as friendly and relaxing as possible and the introduction to fostering training days we attended were very informative and enjoyable experiences.
Going to panel was another nerving experience, facing the uncertainty of whether we would be accepted. We both had concerns as to what questions would be asked and how to respond to them, there was also a feeling of being disappointed if we were not approved, but again on arrival all the people involved were very friendly and welcoming. When we were told, we had been accepted it was quite an amazing feeling, on reflection quite a pleasant experience.
Since starting this journey we have never felt alone, the support has been top drawer, and advice always on the end of a phone. Our Supervising Social Worker Mick, has provided help and advice which has been invaluable, his supervision visits always end with us feeling upbeat even in difficult times when placements were not what we expected – but yeah bring it on, we’re learning all the time. We make mistakes some of the time but the most important thing we’ve learnt is that each child is different so new experiences, joys and disappointments have all been in the mix. Sadly, sometimes some of the children placed with us don’t work out and the feeling of disappointment along with questioning “what could we have done differently” raises doubts in our minds, then the realisation arrives that we did the best we can and sometimes the circumstance may be unforeseen or out of our control.
Like any new venture in life we are learning all the time, the varied training offered by Capstone has really helped us and gives the feeling that nothing is out of reach to help and support these young people. Although it’s still early days for us the fostering experience has been an enjoyable and positive one for us and hopefully also for the children we have cared for.
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