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Debbie Lawal

I was fast approaching my 60th birthday, in full time employment in a highly stressful job, working long hours, but earning a good salary however, I was no longer enjoying my current lifestyle and felt something was missing.

I started to evaluate my life and looked back at when I felt I was at my happiest. I quickly realised it was when I was raising my 3 children and the precious time I spent with my grandchildren.

It became apparent that there was a great need for foster carers but thought that this was not an option for me as I was too old and single and maybe I would not have sufficient income to support myself and a child.

I decided to look in to it online and have a look at the criteria needed to become a foster carer. To my surprise all of my doubts were not an issue – I was not too old, it didn’t matter that I was single and I would have an income that would provide enough to support myself and a child.

I researched different agencies within my area and compared the information given on their websites. Who would offer the best training and support? This was important to me.

Capstone Foster Care seemed to offer all that I was looking for in the way of support and training so I decided to make an enquiry. I was visited by their area manager who went through the fostering process with me and left me with plenty of information to look through. I was not pressured to make a decision straight away and was left to make up my own mind up about if moving forward.

I decided to take the next step and arrangements were made for the assessment process to begin. I was contacted by an independent assessment social worker who would visit me in my home each week over the coming months. The times were arranged to suit me and fit in with my working hours. The process included many questions going back to my childhood, schooling, upbringing, family and health. The questions felt a little intrusive, but I never felt judged as my life experiences made me who I am today!

During this process I attended some training courses with Capstone Foster Care which was great and it gave me the opportunity to meet other carers going through the process and experienced carers already fostering.

I then got my date to go to the panel board for the final stage of becoming an approved foster carer! I was really excited, but nervous at the same time! There was no need to worry as they were very friendly and welcoming.

The decision is made on the day, so there is no going away and having to wait for the outcome!

I was approved and from that point was available to have a child placed with me, how exciting!

Capstone Foster Care are very mindful of the need to match a child with the correct carer, so this can take a bit of time. Capstone sent a few profiles to me to look through and to consider whether I felt they would fit into my life, as much as whether I would fit with them. I was not pressured into taking any child that I did not feel right for me and I was supported in making a decision.

Well, I have had a lovely girl with me for the past 6 weeks now, and all is going well. I receive direct supervision from Capstone Foster Care and I know that there is someone at the end of the phone at anytime I feel the need for advice or assistance.

Did I make the right decision to foster? Absolutely!

Did I choose the right agency in Capstone Foster Care? Without a doubt!

If you are thinking fostering is right for you, take that giant step, you won’t look back!

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