Gurdip and Harjit knew it was important for their whole family to be part of the decision-making process to become a fostering family. They also knew that the help and support they received would make a difference between fostering with a local authority or independent fostering agency.
We discussed fostering a few years ago and made some initial enquires. Our daughter was going away to university at the time and when we discussed fostering with her, she wasn’t happy that she would be coming home on the weekends to share the house with a stranger. It was important for us that we all agreed to foster as it would have an impact on all our lives. We decided not to pursue fostering at that time.
Harjit works in a special school with children that have social, emotional and mental health issues. Just before Christmas Gurdip was told he was going to be made redundant after dedicating 30 years of his life to the company. It was a total shock and made us re-look at and what we want from life. Looking for something more satisfying than the standard 9 to 5, the idea of fostering came up again. We spoke to our daughter about fostering again and she was all for it this time. She had completed university and was back home. She has become wiser and her views about fostering had changed.
We spent quite a bit of time researching various fostering agencies and whether to go with the Local Authority or private agencies. We arranged appointments with a few foster agencies to visit us to carry out the initial meeting and had prepared a list of questions we were going to ask them. For us the service we receive was important and we would use this as a key factor to judge on which agency we would go with. We felt Capstone’s service was excellent from the word go. They were quick to respond to our emails and chased up any queries on our behalf. Any concerns we had were dealt with in a professional manner.
We attended ‘The Skills to Foster’ 2-day training course organised by Capstone. We found this course extremely invaluable. The trainer gave us an insight on what to expect from being a foster carer. This training helped us decide whether fostering was for us or not and in our case, it was.
During the assessment process, we had an excellent independent social worker. We thought the process of going through our life history would be quite daunting, but the assessor social worker made this easy by taking time to go through this during weekly meetings with us. The process included meeting with us together and then separately. The assessor social worker was thorough with the process and any concerns we raised, or assistance we required in completing forms she was always extremely helpful. The assessor social worker knew we were quite anxious about the panel meeting so she prepared us for what to expect and what types of questions we may be asked as well as being there with us on the day.
We thought the panel meeting would be intense, but the people on the panel were extremely welcoming. They spoke about our strengths prior to asking us questions. They made us feel comfortable and at ease. When they approved us, it was one of the happiest days of our lives.
We are now excited and looking forward to our first foster child.
Gurdip and Harjit