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Meet Bev and Sam

Bev has been long-term fostering for Capstone now for 5 years. Bev has worked with children for the majority of her career and has seen first-hand the effects of neglect and abuse in a child’s life. When Bev’s own children had grown up and left home, the time seemed right to help make a difference for a child in need of fostering. Find out in Bev’s own words why she became a foster carer and how rewarding she has found her fostering journey so far.

A bit about my background, my name is Beverley or Bev as everyone calls me. I shall describe myself as someone whose cup is always half full. A born optimist, a little bit crazy, extremely passionate about what I do, young at heart, laid back, calm and I probably annoy the pants off those around me. I am married (second marriage) to Sam and I have 3 grown up children plus 3 grandchildren who we adore. I have always worked with children in schools and in the private sector.

So…why did I decide to foster you ask? I think it was because the time was right. My children had grown up and left home, so I had a spare room. It was as simple as that. My sister was also fostering at the time and it just seemed a wonderful thing to do. I had seen first-hand whilst working with children for 35 years the effect that deprivation, neglect, chaos and abuse had on them. We could only help these children for a few hours before they went back to that lifestyle.

How wonderful would it be to totally change at least one child’s life for the better?

I decided straight away after witnessing the lack of support that my sister was receiving from the local authority that I did not want to foster with the local authority. I went online and researched fostering agencies. I decided on Capstone because they had an office in Stoke where I lived at the time.

I filled in a form online which resulted in a phone call and they sent out someone from Capstone to have a chat with us. I asked lots of questions, I wanted to know that there was lots of support and training. Sam and I decided that yes this is what we wanted and then the assessment began.

I really enjoyed the Skills to Foster training. I love training where its relevant and you actually learn something you can use. Then began the assessment process which is quite invasive and so it should be. At the end of this process, we went to panel which is quite daunting but also weirdly enjoyable. The moment at the end when they call you back in to tell you if you’ve been successful or not is the worst bit. When you’re told you’ve been successful it is the BEST feeling.

Now began the hard work, training, training and more training!

It was during a training course that I first knew we had been matched with a child. He was 6 years old and already in foster care with his sister. On paper it painted a picture of a child with Epilepsy, global development delay and some issues around behaviour which didn’t bother us in the slightest. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to meet him.

You can read more about Bev’s first placement here .

All through our journey we have been supported by our latest supervising social worker. She has been amazing at letting me vent any time of the day.

The highlights have been that he is the happiest child I have ever come across. He sings as soon as he wakes up in the morning. He sings when he goes to bed. He is always dancing. He is constantly making us laugh and I mean constantly. He is so amazingly gifted at making models from clay and playdough. He loves music and has a set of drums. The sheer delight on his face when we take him anywhere or buy him anything keeps me going for days. He is so caring and kind.

We are not young carers I am 61 and my husband is 62 so don’t let age be a barrier to fostering.

Did I mention we have a dog too? His name is Paddy and he is a Poochon. He’s absolutely nuts but very cute and loves our little man. He’s my fur baby and gets me out of the house every day for some self-care.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Bev! It’s wonderful to hear about the difference you have been able to make.

If you’re feeling feel inspired and would like to speak to someone about becoming a foster carer, don’t hesitate to get in touch for an initial informal chat.

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