Linda and David, with their two daughters, made the decision to become foster carers as they had a spare bedroom. Within 4 months they became approved foster carers and have looked after many children in different types of placements.
We originally became foster carers when Paige lived at home aged 16, however now both her and Zoe have moved out. David and I come from large extended families.
When I was younger, I joined the Territorial Army (TA) it gave me the purpose of proving to myself that I could achieve my desired goals. From then I’ve worked in different care settings. I’ve supported young adults with disabilities to live semi independently in their own homes, whilst also supporting the elderly. My caring career gave me lots of different experiences and opportunities to learn new skills.
David and I met when we were younger, David now works as a Groundsman after many years of being an area manager to a large company. David wanted to be at home more and valued his role as a father which would be more beneficial to our family than his managerial career.
As a family the decision to become foster parents had not been a quick one, David and I had thought long and hard about the fostering task before approaching Capstone. We decided to contact an independent fostering agency rather than a local authority after one of our friends who fosters, recommended speaking to an agency as the support and guidance you receive is of a higher level.
We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to become foster parents however, the desire to help a child outshone any negative thoughts we both had. Capstone was great at putting us at ease throughout the whole assessment process. After our initial telephone call with our local office, Capstone came out to complete an initial home visit. They came to see our home and its suitability for fostering and to provide David and I with more information about the fostering process and answer all our questions in detail. They gave us a realistic overview about fostering including the challenges and rewards. As we had a spare room and a real desire to make a difference to a child’s life, we began the fostering process and within four months we were approved as foster carers.
Capstone provided David and I with a 3-day Skills to Foster training course while we were in the decision-making process. This helped us both to make an informed decision about whether fostering was for us. We knew fostering would be challenging however, we wish we would have learnt sooner about how rewarding it is, as our only regret is not having started the fostering process sooner in life.
As a family we were overjoyed and anxious about welcoming someone new into our home. Paige and Zoe have always been supportive of our fostering roles. As Paige lived at home when our first young person arrived, she was also provided ongoing training from Capstone as a supporter. David and I have looked after an array of children over the years from supporting children on short term fostering placements to move back home, respite care for children through to providing a safe home for children and young people who had fled their home countries as asylum-seekers.
We are still in contact and regularly meet up with E who had to flee his home country in fear of persecution. E is doing extremely well as a musician and has moved onto independence with a place at the Manchester School for Music and we couldn’t be prouder of his achievement. We currently have two siblings living with us who we are supporting with the prospect of a long-term fostering match.
The training we have already undertaken with Capstone has been excellent and we feel Capstone provide an array of courses that are always current and beneficial to us as existing foster parents.
I would not hesitate to recommend Capstone to anyone who is wanting to make a difference to a young person’s life. I’ve found through my 8 years of working with Capstone that the staff are very supportive, helpful and have always been there regardless of time of day and I couldn’t ask for anything more.