Sandy, Team Manager at our Dartford Office, gives us an update about the Beyond Boundaries trip which was attended by two of our looked after young people. Sandy helped to raise money to enable the boys to fund the trip, to which Capstone also donated £200.

Who went on the trip and where abouts did they go, how long for?

Two of our looked after young people went to Northern India for 2 weeks with the “Beyond Boundaries” project which is supported by Basti Ram.

What did they do and see whilst out there

They taught English in a local primary school and made some really valuable connections with the children there. They also did a lot of sightseeing, and also visited the Taj Mahal.

What are the outcomes of the trip?

The young people were able to experience another culture and also appreciate what little the children had there, but the fact that they remained happy. The young people were able to forge friendships with the other looked after young people that went on the trip, and support them with their confidence building.

What did the young people say about the trip?

Both of the boys absolutely loved it, and were so animated to tell me about their experiences and what they had seen when they were there. One of the young people said one of the little girls in his class was so sweet, and he was really upset to have to say goodbye, he wished he could have put her in his suitcase to bring her back to England!

How much did you raise to help them go?

The boys had to fundraise £500 each to contribute towards the total cost of the trip. I raised a total of £685 for both of the boys– by doing a sponsored walk with Lewisham Council staff (which was actually more of a hike!) and was joined by the boys to do this. Capstone also donated £200.

Are you proud of the boys?

I’m really proud of both of the boys – I have watched them grow up over the past 6 years and they are a credit to their amazing foster carers. I was invited by Lewisham to attend the Beyond Boundaries presentation on the 16th November at Goldsmiths University, where all the young people and Lewisham staff who went on the trip did a presentation which included photos, videos and speeches from the young people themselves. It was amazing to see our 2 young people speak in front of such a big audience about what they had learnt from their experience!


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

 


S was placed with Capstone carers when she was almost 16 years old.  S told the carers that she did not want to remain in care after she reached 16 so the carers understood they may only have few months to offer S a safe, caring and nurturing environment.

However, on her 16th Birthday, S confirmed that she wanted to remain with the carers and, at this point, the carers were delighted that they could continue with their support of S.

Since then, S has done extremely well, having gained her GCSE’s, followed by two distinctions and a merit in her BTEC as she gained her qualification in IT, a subject she excelled in at school.  S’s carers have been intrinsic to her development and progress, having assisted her with her education and also enabling her to learn to drive and gain an apprenticeship with the local Police force.  S is due to take her driving test soon and she will have her own car to drive to and from work.

S has progressed so well, at her own pace, as she has not been overburdened by the issues of having to move out of placement. She is welcome in the family home and plays a large part within the family and is being supported fully by the carers now she is on a Staying Put arrangement.  Well done S!


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