Kevin shares with us a reflection of his first year as a foster carer

The last 12 months have been a bit of a rollercoaster for the family. We’ve had a few ups, some downs and very little flat coasting. On balance I would say it was a positive experience but with a very steep learning curve.

Nobody really knew how challenging it was going to be to support A, who was the first child we fostered. This was probably a good job as he may have been deemed unsuitable for us newbies to fostering.

I am extremely proud of my family and especially to my partner Lisa for all the love and care she has shown to A. I am grateful to Capstone for all the support and understanding received. We felt like valued members of the team and it helped us to keep going.

We have learned so much from this past year and hope to put it to good use in the future. Parenting, whether it be your own child or a foster child is about love, compassion, understanding, boundaries, consistency and at the centre of everything, the child. Stick to these rules and you won’t go far wrong.

Although there is a lot of common sense applicable to those rules we still found the training extremely interesting and insightful.

The return of A to his mother has left me conflicted. I feel like we have lost a member of our family and it is still pretty strange with him not around. We are however taking the positives from this; sleep, time to ourselves and a sense satisfaction for a job well done to name but a few. I worry about him though. I am full of admiration for his mother for how she turned herself around and how she stuck with the program in what must have been some pretty dark days. I still believe where possible that a child should be with their birth parents and there is no doubt that A and his mother love each other very much.

I have always thought I was pretty self aware but having A as a placement this last year unearthed in me levels tolerance, patience and understanding I wasn’t sure I had. This has helped me in both my personal and professional relationships.

I feel a sense of pride for what we achieved with A. The boy that left our home was so very different to the boy that arrived those many months ago. I feel concern because I know he still needs so much help and support and his journey is just beginning.  I feel a sense of loss as he is no longer with us. I feel gratitude to Capstone for the support and understanding.

Capstone foster family

Kevin, Lisa and their children

Lisa and I have been talking about whether we would take another placement. I think we probably will. We are confident in our abilities as a family and we are confident in our support from Capstone.  I know it sounds like a bit of a cliché but I really feel we can make a positive difference to someone’s life and that’s a pretty cool thing.


Children of foster carers Callum and Freya, age 15, visited Uganda 5 years ago and are going back in October. They are fundraising for charity Amigos, which supports orphans, widows and those living in poverty in Uganda by walking up Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon, the highest peaks in England and Wales – BAREFOOT! They are excited about reuniting with friends they made when they were 10 and learning more about conservation projects.

Hi Everyone,

In October we have been offered the amazing opportunity to visit Uganda in support our favourite charity Amigos. Amigos is a Barnstaple based charity that supports widows, orphans and those living in poverty in Uganda.

Please see their website www.amigos.org.uk for more details.

We visited our Amigos sponsored child Snoopy Ogala and his family and friends when we were 10 years old. We can’t wait to see them again now we are 15. Due to war, disease and extreme poverty, Uganda has the world’s youngest population, the average age is just 15.

Freya and Callum in 2010 with Ugandan children

We will be staying at Kira Farm which is a residential training centre that annually hosts 40 incredible Ugandan young people, all of whom have grown up in severe hardship. At Kira these promising youth acquire the vocational skills, conservation farming techniques and self confidence to turn their lives around. Whilst there we will experience new cultures and customs and learn about development and conservation projects.

We have been encouraged to raise a minimum of £1700 each which will cover the cost of the trip and give a 20% donation to the Kira farm project. However we would like to raise as much money as we possibly can to help the charity.

So far we have raised £1600 by saving our pocket money, Christmas/birthday money, Saturday/holiday job wages and selling our old possessions. We will continue to do this, as the more we contribute ourselves the more your donations will go directly to the charity.

We hope to raise a further £3000 on this page.  We are asking people to sponsor us to climb Scafell Pike and  Mount Snowdon, the highest peaks in England and Wales. Climbing these mountains is challenging enough but we intend to do as much as we can BAREFOOT. We know this sounds a bit extreme but walking barefoot over rough ground is something African children do on a daily basis.

Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor us and donations will be quickly processed and passed to Amigos. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity’s behalf where the donor is eligible for this.  We really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations. You can donate here: Callum and Freya’s page.

Callum and Freya

Freya and Callum practise walk web

Callum and Freya on a practice walk, now aged 15

 


Our Leicester based fostering team invited hundreds of disadvantaged children across the Midlands to enjoy a pantomime performance of Beauty and the Beast in Wigston in January.

Capstone Foster Care in Leicester sponsored the show performed by SWM Theatre Company and arranged an exclusive opening night performance for looked after and vulnerable children to attend free of charge.

Capstone Team with Beauty and Beast team web

Members of the production and cast on the left, with Capstone CEO and staff on the right

Mel Draper, who directed the pantomime, is a foster carer, supported by Capstone and has been working since last summer to get the production ready. A young person she fosters is also starring in the pantomime. Mel said:

“I was thrilled when my fostering organisation volunteered to sponsor the show. A youngster we support has taken part this year and has really enjoyed the experience of channeling his energy into rehearsals and performances. All I wanted to do was make a difference for him. It was an amazing opportunity to put a night on for other children in Leicester and make a difference for them too”.

Children and foster carers from Capstone’s midlands region, and young people supported by Leicestershire County Council, Jay Fostering, Memphys and Horizon Care too were invited to the performance.

Dave Needle, Senior Practitioner at Capstone Foster Care said:

“It was a pleasure to sponsor the production. It was a fantastic opportunity to bring together the fostering community of Leicestershire. Our goal was to give something back, for the kids to enjoy, together”.

The show is running for the public from 14th – 16th January at Wigston College Theatre and tickets are £9 each or £29.50 for a family of 4.

Capstone Foster Care is an independent fostering agency with an office based at the Beaumont Enterprise Centre in Leicester. Capstone’s team in the Midlands supports over 100 fostering families, for more information about fostering please call 0116 373 7277.

SWM Theatre Company normally produce two shows each year, a musical in the summer and a pantomime around Christmas time. They perform at Wigston College, previously known as Guthlaxton College, in South Wigston. For tickets please call 0116 299 3256.

Beauty and the best cast web

The cast of the show with birth children, Freya and Rain White


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