Capstone Foster Care Blog

Sharon and David Radford began fostering after having enjoyed parenting their own 2 children. Before they knew it their children had grown into mature young adults who no longer needed so much of their time, and so they began their foster care journey – an experience they both found enlightening.

Sharon explained:

‘I learnt so much about myself. For me parts of the process were very difficult, it was a form of counselling and I had to revisit some difficult periods from my life and deal with some issues.

David found the process to be fine however, on occasion felt it was slightly intrusive.

Chloe our daughter, who at the time was 17, loved it and sat in on most sessions and asked questions. She found it to be all very interesting. Luke who is shy and was 19 at the time only offered information when asked, I know he found it to be a long process.’

When Chloe left for university at the age of 18, Sharon had so many mixed emotions. She was proud of her but missed her company. Luke had only recently left home himself and she was also missing him.

Sharon said:

‘We missed the chaos, the noise, the laughter and the joy that we had experienced as parents. We still had so much more to give and felt that we had the skills and patience to offer a fresh start with a bright future to children and young people that had experienced a difficult start to their lives.’

Sharon and David waited months for their first placement. They were nervous but also excited as they had had the opportunity to meet the young person who was to become part of their family a few times before the placement date. They had undertaken a parenting course at a local college prior to the young person joining them and felt we were equipped and ready for the challenge ahead.

Sharon said about her first experience:

‘The main difference that we have experienced is that the young person we have with us has not been nurtured from birth like your own children.

They are very angry and deeply hurt, they build up barriers to protect their feelings. It takes time, patience and understanding to build up a relationship with trust, which can disappear in an instance. They rebel and test your loyalty, pushing your buttons to test you sometimes to the limit.

It can prove to be a long process but with time patience and persistence rewards are sure to come as they slowly learn to trust.

The key similarities to bringing up our birth children and nurturing looked after children is that they all thrive in a loving stable safe home with boundaries, a structured routine and consistency.’

David said:

‘We have been supported by all our Capstone supervising social workers and when faced with difficult times Capstone have always supported and guided us through the storms. They have also been there to share the good times and recognise the hard work we do. We are offered training and support, we feel valued and appreciated.’

 

 


Our organised family events are always great fun for both children and carers and that’s why we enjoy organising them. On a regular basis, we arrange a day in the local community for local carers and children to come together and meet, away from their everyday lives. Additionally, these events are great for our carers to meet up, share experiences and celebrate the progress that the children are making as they grow up.

Recently, our local Devon carers finished off the summer holidays with a fantastic day out at Woodlands Theme Park, an all-weather family amusement park. We had children aged 3-16 years enjoying themselves and it was such a lovely sight seeing how supportive and friendly our children were to one another. The water slides were probably the biggest hit with the older children and the indoor play area was a great space to explore for our little one with his carers in hot pursuit!

We have already discussed our Christmas get together (ssh!) and we may even try a local Panto this year! Keep an eye out for more updates from our South West region.

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Recently, our annual Midlands Summer Event took place at Green Towers in Hinckley. We had a fantastic turnaround with over 100 carers and looked after children attending. It was a fun filled day, packed with a variety of activities to keep the children entertained, such as soft play, face painting, a magician, a bouncy castle, rock climbing, roller skating, football, BMXing and much, much more.

We really do enjoy spending quality time with the children and carers by organising and running these events in the community. This year we were very lucky with the weather allowing us to play and sit outdoors and enjoy the food which was provided by our caterers ‘Salty Dog’.

Thank you to everyone who attended and made the event possible, we hope you all had a great time and we’ll see you at the next event!


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