Capstone Foster Care News

On a very wet Monday this February half term, a group of four carers and six children/young people enjoyed a game of bowling at Tenpin, Acton. The lights were dimmed, the music started and the bowling competition began! It was great to see the children, young people and carers competing against each other and it was definitely a lot of fun, with a competitive edge! We finished the activity with lunch in the café, where everyone tucked into a meal and drink and talked about the fun they had and compared scores.

It’s always lovely to see the joy on our children’s and young people’s faces at get togethers like this and we always love to hear their feedback. Here is some from the children and young people we spoke to:

“I enjoyed just about everything, bowling and making friends”,
“I have made a new friend and enjoyed the company of others that are my age”
“I enjoyed the bowling and food”

To H,

Where to start! Wow, 18, what a milestone and I am so glad to be here to see this moment.

I wanted to mark this birthday with some of my recollections of your journey.

You arrived at George and Rob’s home in April 2012 at the age of 11 years and 2 months. My first memories of you are of a young girl who was timid and unsure.

At first, we thought you would only stay 28 days however, we could see you needed to know where and with whom you would be living with so, with Maria’s hard work, we challenged Bradford and they agreed that you could stay. I was thrilled.

I remember you having to come along to our social events and how uncomfortable you looked; but you came which was an achievement in itself.

Slowly, as you got to know me better you started to relax. I was able to learn more about you, what you liked, your quick sense of humour.

I remember us doing some sessions, when we thought about things you were finding difficult. There was one piece of work we did that I will always remember. We drew your two families placing people on the page at different distances from you to reflect how close you felt to them. I was blown away by your insight and honesty.

Another stand out moment for me, was when you agreed to do skills to foster training. What a great day to show how you were growing in confidence. To stand up in front of strangers to help them learn about foster care was so brave.

If I remember right, you were a difficult/ personal question by one of the applicants and you handled it with great maturity. The feedback from the course was that you had done a great job, as I knew you would. It is invaluable applicants learning from young people like you.

My next big memory of you is around the support you gave to J another young person in care who needed some guidance and support. I know this was out of your comfort zone, so I really appreciated you agreeing. The best moment was at Lightwater Valley when you took J and E under your wing. It was a proud moment for me.

George shared with me the English Essay you wrote, it is one of the best pieces of work I have ever read. I knew we needed to use it to benefit other young people and foster families, so I was thankful when you agreed we could use it for the Capstone Video competition (Of which you were the clear winner! 🙂 Watching you read your essay about what family is, is one moment that has validated my career as a Social Worker, so that H, I thank you!

Next! Kerry’s interview! Talk about going from strength to strength. I knew you had the skills and knowledge to help us choose the right new social worker for our team. Your feedback on applicants showed your maturity- It was fair, considered and very much valued. Vivienne, Team Manager + Mary, Registered Manager, were so impressed with your feedback + they trusted it.

And now into your final year “formally” in foster care how you have grown. Planning holidays, developing relationships, studying hard, learning to drive. Confident, delightful, ambitious. I could not be prouder.
All you have done while I have known you. Your tolerance of parents and children who have needed George and Rob’s help, your honesty, your insight- I have gained so much working with you.

Now you are 18 and planning university such exciting time. I have no doubt you have the capacity to achieve what you set your mind to. You have made incredible progress in the time I have known you and achieved so much. It has been a genuine privilege being part of your journey, and as for your post 18 journey I hope we can still be a small part of it.

I am proud of you and wish for you a future filled with joy and fulfilment.

Happy Birthday
From Debbie 🙂

Open Letter to Holly

National Care Day is a time to recognise and celebrate the achievements and dreams of children and young people in care. It’s a chance to get vocal, get social and celebrate the successes of our care experience community… success stories like Kim.

Following a relationship break down with multiple family members, including her mother and father, leaving her with no family support, Kim was living in unsupported accommodation – accommodation with limited facilities and little to no prospects for improvement. Unemployed and not in education Kim was left without opportunities to better her life and reach her real potential. With a limited support network and tense family relationships, Kim sometimes didn’t even see the point of getting out of bed in the morning.

However, all that changed in October 2018 when Kim voluntarily agreed to put herself into care.

Although understandably scared at first, after only 3 months Kim has already built a trusting relationship with her carers. They have been there for her through some difficult situations when others couldn’t. Going into foster care gave Kim a voice and has quite literally changed her life.

With the support and guidance of her carers Kim has started to build a brighter future for herself. Now a much more capable and confident 16-year-old, Kim has secured a 6-month course in hairdressing and attends college 3 days a week… what a difference 3 months can make!

Kim said “Now that I am in foster care, I am a lot happier. I got myself back into college and a job! Before I was in care everything seemed to go wrong but now it feels like going right and I am getting on better with my family.”

It’s always lovely to hear positive outcomes from our children and young people and the huge difference our wonderful foster carers make everyday on these young lives.

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