Kirsty and her husband have been fostering for over 5 years now which has given them a new perspective on life.
1. As a part time working mum it was difficult juggling child care and always needing to arrange for the children to be in child care or time pressures to collect them, my son was going into his final year at primary school and I wanted to give him more support and spend more time with our youngest daughter. Fostering seemed an ideal way to incorporate a better work life balance – even though fostering is more challenging than my normal employment of 20 years and I now work 3 times as many hours!!
2. My husband and I decided it was a good time to do something different after a difficult time where my husband was very ill, let’s give it a go to see how our family adapted and if it would be right for us, it was.
3. I wanted a new challenge after working in the NHS, I wanted to do something different and make a difference.
We found the assessment process with Capstone very thorough and it only took around 4 months, it was an eye opener as it delved into the past and we had to think about why we made the decisions we did. The pre-panel training was enjoyable and gave enough information for the start of our journey with Capstone. Initially we were a little nervous about our pending panel date, however we had attended a panel with Hampshire County Council before so were aware of what happens, we were very pleased we had been accepted as Capstone Foster Carers.
We have learnt a lot and grown as a family over the 5 years we have had children in our care, it puts a different perspective on life and how lucky we and our children are, it takes a lot of time to look after the children but we see them grow which is very satisfying. When they learn to read, write, talk, ride a bike, go to their 1st swimming lessons and learn to swim, become a lodge leader at Beavers, star in the school play, we could go on forever but it’s the same feeling you get from when your own children achieve this, our current placements are linked and will be with us for many years.
Capstone have been very supportive in our journey and handle any issues which might arise directly with the county council relieving a lot of stress that could be caused by having to deal with situations without this support. An example of this was during a placement where unacceptable things were suggested by the child in placements social worker which Capstone discussed and made better suggestions and alternatives which resolved this situation.
Finally, the training Capstone provide is brilliant, I have been trained in all aspects of fostering related skill sets and when I need to know something Capstone are always there. There is an option of regular refresher training so you always feel you are well informed.