Julie and Clive
Clive and I started fostering over 8 years ago. We felt we had many transferable skills that we knew we could use to help and support young people, making use of the experience of bringing up or own family and employing our professional working skills. It was like starting a second career and the skills and experience I had gained throughout my career in health and social services and, education have all come in useful with the role of advocate for the vulnerable young people we have cared for.
Liaising with others within a multidisciplinary team was at first intimidating for Clive but he was able to draw on his previous skills within the business world and sales to contribute and organise meetings set to discuss the young people’s progress, appropriately contributing to the care team within the role we play in the young person life.
When our children left home, we had a four-bedroom house in a great area that we knew we could share with others and so, our journey began. Over the years, Clive and I, whilst raising our own children often volunteered to help with young people less fortunate or with a disability on school trips or special projects to aid inclusion. We enjoyed helping and felt and sense of pride when complimented for our contribution. When Clive’s printing career ended he reflected on his skill base, carefully considering a second career, his transferable caring skills were highlighted, we attended a fostering presentation, where we explored the role of foster caring in more detail and after the presentation we felt confident that we indeed had a lot to contribute and decided upon fostering as the second career to choice.
Initially we spent six years with one independent fostering agency before transferring to what in our opinion was a more child-centred foster care agency, Capstone. We felt strongly, we needed to find a care agency that fully supported our role as foster carers. We wanted to belong to an agency we felt shared the same core values as ourselves, always considering the needs of the young people as paramount in order to provide the best care support possible for the young person in foster placement.
When we first began fostering, we simply did not know what to expect. When we took in our first placement, we felt nervous and anxious, however, as our experience grew, we began to gain confidence, knowing that with time positive relationships grow and develop.
Over the years, we have experienced joyful times and on occasion sadness too. We have felt proud to be part of such a valuable experience of giving to others, it has not been without its challenges but that is all part of being a foster carer.
We’ve had a number of different placements including, short-term, long-term and staying put placements, all of which have been different experiences.
The most rewarding part of the journey has been watching young people build positive experiences, memories and gain personal successes, while having a fun in a safe environment.
We have experienced to date a great help and support from the Capstone team and would recommend Capstone as child-centred care provider.