Our mentors offer non-judgemental support from a position of understanding as foster carers themselves. They are here to help improve confidence, skills and practices of new or less experienced foster carers.

Adele has been fostering for over 10 years were she has cared for babies to teenagers, sibling groups and children with disabilities. Her passion for Looked After Children and commitment to advocating for their needs to be met puts her in an excellent position when it comes to acting as a Peer Mentor – promoting the foster carer role, whilst using her knowledge and experience to support others effectively.

Additionally, Michelle has been a foster carer with Capstone for 8 years, and more recently she has volunteered to become our LGBT Champion. Her background in this area is from having a close number of friends from the LGBT community, and being a passionate advocate for equality and diversity. To date she has been involved in supporting Capstone Foster Care with reviewing policies, and providing reviews on books for young people exploring their identity.

Furthermore, Liz began her fostering career back in 2010 and has gone on to care for children of all ages and from a variety of cultures, many with additional needs and behavioural issues. All have benefitted from her warm and empathic approach and she wanted to extend this support to those new to fostering or those experiencing difficulties. She hopes to help carers feel less isolated and more at ease when it comes to them understanding their roles and responsibilities.

Nina has gained valuable experience through her 6 years of fostering with Capstone Foster Care she has looked after children aged 5 months to teenagers each with their own diverse issues and problems. She has a wealth of knowledge to share especially with the mother and baby placements she has supported.

Finally, Simone unfortunately wasn’t present when the photo was being taken, Simone became a foster carer 4 years ago and has since demonstrated her ability to remain level-headed and child-focused in some particularly difficult situations. Her calm and nurturing responses have enabled her to connect with young people quickly, developing a mutually respectful environment where they have flourished as individuals. Through becoming a Peer Mentor Simone would like to think she could offer encouragement to help develop confidence in others, enabling placements to become more secure, happy places.


Left to Right: Adele (Peer Mentor), Michelle (LGBT Champion and Peer Mentor),
Liz (Peer Mentor) & Nina (Peer Mentor).


Capstone North were pleased to host a small celebration for the carers who had been with the agency for ten years or more!

This was a lovely opportunity to thank all the carers for their commitment to the agency but, more importantly, to the young people they have supported during that time.

All the carers received a card and some flowers to say ‘Thank you’ and we all chatted about ‘old times’ and how they had enjoyed all the years they have spent as carers.

The afternoon was a great opportunity for everyone to reminisce and talk about their successes, sadness – about children who had left them – and joy – for the children they were currently supporting and all their achievements!

Additionally, the agency was also able to acknowledge the services of Jo Kelly and Carole Bell (Senior Supervising Social Workers) who have been with the agency for a combined total of 25 years!

Thanks to everyone who attended for making it a great day of catching up with old friends and colleagues, as well as reflecting on what has been achieved.

 

‘We joined when it was a small premier agency and still feel we’re part of a close knit family and still get the great support from everyone. Fostering to us is challenging, fun and we have great support from Capstone Foster Care’

‘Loved the chance to meet up with the other long standing carers, who we don’t always get chance to meet It was nice to be recognised for the long service and commitment we have made to Capstone I enjoy fostering with Capstone because ALL staff are warm, friendly and supportive.

The training is relevant and well-presented and we feel part of “ the family” that is Capstone’- Jacqui Cummings, carer.

I enjoyed it very much, it was nice seeing people I hadn’t seen for a long time. It was also very nice to know that we are all valued and appreciated. I enjoy working for Capstone, knowing I’m offering a secure and caring home to children with a difficult past to move forward.- Phyllis Aspinal, Carer.


In 2011 Rebecca came to live with Shahnaz & Muhammed when she was 12 years-old. Rebecca had been in care for several years since the death of her mother when she was eight years old, and previous arrangements to care for Rebecca had broken down.

Rebecca is now 18 and she is remaining with Shahnaz & Muhammed on a ‘staying put’ arrangement. She attends college full time and is currently in her 3rd year studying aviation. Rebecca plans to work at East Midlands airport in the future either in Security or in Immigration. Her long-term aspiration is to work at Heathrow.

Muhammed said: “We feel like she’s our daughter”

Shahnaz said: “I have children from my previous marriage and he has children from his previous marriage, we feel like she is ‘our’ daughter.”

Here’s the video from the BBC programme of Rebecca and her carers:

Muhammed and Shahnaz also foster two other children. Shahnaz continued:

“If you’re a foster carer you’ve got to have in you a nurturing nature, you’ve got to look after a child regardless of race and religion… You’ve got to love that child, you’ve got to protect them and make them safe and secure.” She is a child with her own identity, we are her parents, that does not mean we control her life.

The carers have been supported by their Supervising Social Worker, Varsha Mistry during their fostering journey. The family have recently appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme to celebrate their successful fostering journey. The BBC team explored the matching process of children and carers of different faiths or cultures.

The programme highlighted how Rebecca, a white British young person placed with Pakistani muslim carers, has had her needs met for the last six years by her carers who have supported her through stressful periods like GCSE’s & college.

Rebecca said: “I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for my foster family, I am not considered a foster child in my home I am treated like a part of the family”.

Well done to Rebecca, Shahnaz, Muhammed & the family for your continued support as foster carers from everyone at Capstone Foster Care. Over the previous 11 years you really have made a difference to all the children you’ve supported, and we are grateful for your hard work and dedication.

Muslim fostering

Rebecca and her parents

 


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