Fostering was something we had been talking about together, as a family for several years before we applied to Capstone. I think what we wanted to achieve was summed up by Jessica Matthews in The Fostering Network magazine, “CAHMS In Crisis” article which touched on the importance of healthy, happy, family attachments; “I have seen children blossom when the simple things happen…that wonderful, ordinary family life that foster carers are so well placed to offer.” We wanted to give children who had had a difficult start in life the ordinary, loving, family life our own children are able to take for granted.
During our first year as foster carers with Capstone, we have had several placements, each one has come with it’s own unique set of challenges and we have had to draw on our Capstone training as well as the experience of our Supervising Social Worker. Remaining calm in a crisis is definitely a useful trait, as is a good dollop of common sense! Although we were well trained before our first placement and throughout the year, I’m not sure that any amount of training can fully prepare you and we did a fair amount of learning “on the job” with the support of our Capstone Social Worker and the Capstone Out Of Hours service!
The children who have been placed with us have all had relatively short stays. Although this has sometimes felt frustrating, we gain comfort from the fact that during the short time the children were with us, we have been able to offer them an insight into a loving, supportive, family life and give them simple experiences which they may otherwise not have had. We are also proud of the fact that we have formed good relationships with the young people who have stayed with us, even though they have not been with us that long. Having a variety of fostering placements has also meant that we have also had a huge variety of experiences in working with the unique personalities of each child. Hopefully we will be able to take these experiences forward with us into the next year of fostering!
Kharissa & family – Hampshire