Single carer, Margaret, cared for a number of her own family members and when her own children left home, she began to explore how she could help children who may not have had the best start in life.
Originally, I wanted to become a foster carer due to my own family circumstances growing up.
I have four birth children of my own, my eldest daughter has down syndrome and I also have four grandchildren. I now care for my granddaughter full time under a care order and she has been with me for six years and is now aged twelve.
I was working full time as a holistic therapist however, due to my own dad’s health, my own childcare situation, my eldest birth child who has down syndrome needing more support and my granddaughter coming to live with me I left my job to look after them all full time which kept me very busy.
My children have all now grown up and my eldest daughter has moved onto residential care which she needed. With all the new free time I had, I began to look for something I could do.
I had always thought about fostering and seeing the difference I had already made to my granddaughters’ life; I knew it would be a challenge but a worthwhile challenge. I am really family orientated and could see that so many children haven’t had the best start in life and I really wanted to make a difference.
My family were concerned when I first began the process, as they worried that I hadn’t given myself had a break in between caring for family members. They knew that I felt strongly about becoming a foster carer and supported me throughout the process.
I started the process in April 2018 and four months later I was approved as a foster parent.
As I was approved as a foster carer in the summer holiday period, Capstone Foster Care provided me with experience of being a foster carer by offering me respite care placements.
Now I have a long-term placement who was seven-year-old when she arrived. H was a troubled little soul when she came to live with me and my granddaughter.
H had unfortunately suffered several placement breakdowns before she came to me after the local authority sought Capstone Foster Care to find her a suitable family.
She was a little hurricane through the first few months of placement determined for me to give up like everyone else. Something which me and my granddaughter are determined not to do. Capstone Foster Care have been brilliant at supporting the placement even through the difficult times. Deborah the support worker attached to my office is still now taking H out every couple of weeks even for just a few hours to allow my granddaughter time to herself.
Fostering has been more challenging than expected; my parenting style has had to change but training to support this change has been fantastic. One of the reasons I chose Capstone Foster Care was for the in-depth training they offer. Training is varied and meets the needs of the children; I’m currently completing a 12-week course called fostering changes which is great for building on new skills with new parenting techniques.
I’d recommend fostering with Capstone Foster Care; training, support from the team are both fantastic and if you have any doubts in your own ability to foster. Capstone will support you through the process and provide you with all the training you need to help you though the process!