Trisha and Phil knew they would be able to provide a secure home for a child that needed it the most. Using their skills from the social and health care sector they have provided a home for foster children who have been able to shine.
When I left school, I started work as a youth worker with children and this role developed into a long-term career as a care assistant with the NHS. Phil after leaving school, went straight to work in the care sector with adults and young vulnerable individuals and has remained on this career path. Phil and I had successfully brought up our own children and we felt we had lots to offer to others. We knew we would be able to provide a secure home for a child that needed it the most.
As a couple we spoke about the possibility of fostering with our two children for a couple of years before we applied. We had thought long and hard about applying to become foster parents and decided to take the plunge after our own children became more independent.
My work had always been flexible, and my employer was very supportive of me applying to become a foster carer.
I originally contacted Capstone about fostering and they came out to see our family to complete an initial home visit. Capstone was able to answer all our initial questions in detail, so we continued with them into the assessment process. It was obvious to us that fostering was going to be a rewarding path and within six months we were approved as foster carers.
Phil and I originally took on the fostering role as joint main carers as our jobs offered flexibility to allow us both to attend meetings. Phil has recently been promoted to a manger position so therefore his working hours have now changed.
I recently served my notice to take on the responsibility of fostering full time. Working as part of the NHS had been a great experience however, I want to give my full-time attention to fostering and supporting the young person who lives with us as I want to make a real difference to her life. We’ve both made the decision for me to take on the sole responsibility and become the main carer.
Daniel, our son, who still lived at home during the fostering process and still does, has always been very supportive of our decision and has been happy to help with any fostering tasks when required. Daniel has also worked in a care role and this has helped him to understand how and why children come to be in care.
Both mine and Phil’s careers and experiences have given us a good understanding of diverse cultures and the ability to support and advocate the needs of the children we look after. Our life experiences have been valuable in working with some of the children we have cared for that have presented challenging behaviours because of their past experiences. These experiences have made me stop and think about how we could help to make a difference to the children’s lives and how to support them throughout their trauma.
Capstone has always offered a wide range of courses for both me and Phil to attend to add to our own knowledge base. The training we have already undertaken has been outstanding and changes from year to year with new courses being made available. We attend social events with Capstone and Lauren* is always involved with the outings for the young people. This year she has enjoyed going to Light Water Valley, cinema trips, trips to see animals and trips to the park.
We have faced challenges through our fostering role however the support and network of professionals we have encountered has made us feel part of a family at Capstone. We couldn’t be happier with the support from our social worker and the therapeutic team around Lauren* who has helped her shine through the darker times. We know the office and our social worker is always available for us to speak to and if we do need emergency assistance the out of hours team is exceptional.
I would not hesitate to recommend Capstone Foster Care to anyone who is looking to make a difference to a child’s life, just take the leap and start the fostering process.
*Lauren is not the real name of our looked after and her name has been changed to protect her identity
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