Capstone Foster Care News

Not all super heroes wear capes

We want the children to design a super hero
They can have any powers but we would like to know why they have chosen these powers and what these magical powers can allow them to do.

 

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Competition runs from May 2nd to May 16th where by 3 winners will be announced
we have 3 prizes to send to the winners

Send responses to enquiries@capstonemidlands.co.uk or send to the office address 28 The Green, Kings Norton B38 8SD

Pictures should also have the children’s name and a contact number.

 


There’s a myth, an assumption or perhaps a generalisation that kids in foster care don’t have parents.  In many cases, they do.  In some cases, you’ll even have to deal with them throughout the entire placement of your child.

The easiest thing to do is to judge those parents.  It’s easy, but it’s unfair.

Just as you will never know everything about the child who is placed with you, similarly you will never know everything about their parents, either.  Yes you’ll read info in paperwork, and yes you’ll form an impression should you ever get to see or speak to them directly, but you’ll never know what the complete story is.

We all judge people, and I am particularly bad for this if someone makes a poor first impression on me – it stays with me, and people have to work damn hard for me to change my opinion.  At least I’m honest about it.  This has been something I’ve had to work on though, because previously, my husband and I have needed to work really quite closely with the parents of a child in our care.

The parents were not in jail, not on benefits, and not on drugs.  They lived in a nice house, had good jobs, and clearly loved their son.  What they also had was a tether, and at the time we met them, they were at the end of it.  Kids are stressful, hard work and demanding, and by the time they reach adolescence, some of them can even be un-manageable.  Show me a household with teenagers where this isn’t the case at one time or another!

All parents at some point make bad decisions, do misguided things, and make poor judgements.  They do this because they are human, but what I have to respect is when these same people hold up their hands and admit they need support.  Their harshest critics are probably themselves; they don’t need me to add to that criticism.  In fact, they need me to do the exact opposite.

I could never forgive a parent if they had abused or neglected their child in any way, and I don’t feel I’m a bad person for saying this.  However, the whole scenario we found ourselves in reminded me that kids can be placed or taken into foster care for a million and one different reasons.  Whatever that reason, it’s not the Foster Carer’s focus.  Whatever those parents have or haven’t done, our judgement doesn’t change anything.  So, what I’ve been reminded of is that rather than spending time and energy questioning why these people ever had kids, and judging their failings and mistakes as real-life parents along the way, concentrate on doing the best job you can as the next best thing these children may now have to a stable and fully-functioning family.  Play your part, promote positive relationships, and let everybody else sort themselves out.

Jo and Ste


Foster Carers will always tell you how rewarding fostering is.

People who admire Foster Carers will always tell you how rewarding fostering must be.

These people are all correct, but usually, these rewards are reaped way down the road of your fostering journey.

If you think in fostering you will witness daily rewards, you really may not.  It may even be the fact that you find yourself having to steal the smallest of victories from each day, just to keep you assured that things are all moving in the right direction.  For us during one placement, a daily victory was if the child had stayed in school for a full day.  It may have been the case that while he was there his behaviour was absolutely shocking, but if he physically stayed in the building without being excluded or choosing to run off, then we had to take the positive.

Another joy for us was when the child in question offered to help pick up our dog’s poo when we were out on a family dog-walk, having up until that point insisted that “they did nothing for no-one”.  It comes to something when a bag of dog muck is your trophy for the day.

I never said it would be glamourous.

The children in your care will unlikely be grateful to you for what you’re doing and what you’ve sacrificed to do it; certainly not in the early days, anyway.  They don’t know you, and they won’t trust you.  That’s a good thing though, because why should they?  They need to protect themselves.  You’re not their parent, and in their heads they see you as the person to blame for the very fact that they’re not curled up on the sofa with said parent right now.  You’re never going to get a reward from anybody who fires so much anger and upset at you.  There’s time, though.

The biggest skill a Foster Carer will need in order to overcome all of this is to bond with the new addition to their home.  This is easier said than done, because sometimes you may even find that it’s a real struggle to find things to even like about the child in your care.  That sounds horrible, but it’s absolutely true.  It could be weeks or months before you gel with any kind of redeeming feature, but the day you do – that’s a reward in itself.

Keep going.  If your child is alive, clothed, being fed and sleeping in a warm bed every night, you’re doing a fantastic job that one day, you’ll be rewarded for.

Jo and Ste


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