The benefits of training with an independent fostering agency
I have been fortunate enough to attend both our agency ‘Skills to Foster’ and the equivalent within a local authority. This has given me an insight into what is covered when considering how best to support prospective foster carers embarking on their fostering adventure.
The initial ‘Skills to Foster’ course and dedicated local support
During our assessment to become a foster carer, you will be required to attend some mandatory training to equip you in your exciting new role. At Fostering Solutions we offer a 3 day ‘Skills to Foster’ course that is run by our dedicated trainers.
We have an in-house team of trainers placed across various central locations across the UK that run all of our courses in order to offer our foster carers the very best preparation. The training covers several key areas; safeguarding, what is the role of a foster carer: allegations, and managing behaviours along with many more base skills for fostering.
Alongside expert training and advice to equip you with the knowledge you will need before taking on your first foster placement, you will also get to meet with one of our current foster carers. They will share their fostering experiences with you and give you the chance to ask any questions that you may have from someone who is already doing the role every day of the week!
A senior member of our team will also come into discuss more about your local fostering agency, which will give you a better feel of the agency and the wider National Fostering Group that you would be joining. We try to give our training that extra personal touch and pride ourselves on getting to know our carers right from the start of their assessment.
We have recently introduced a ‘post panel meet up’ lunch, which gives our carers the opportunity to catch up with fellow carers who were on the ’Skills to Foster’ training with them. This is a good chance to build up your carer support network even before you officially fostering a child or young person.
What training do you offer once approved?
As with most agencies and local authorities, there is mandatory training that you will need to complete in the first year after your approval to be a foster carer with one of our agencies; safeguarding, record keeping and equality and diversity.
We also offer a very extensive list of classroom and online training that all of our foster carers can access. Our training dates are all booked a year in advance, so carers have the opportunity to book dates into their diaries. We appreciate that as foster carers you are very busy with the day-to-day tasks of the role and it is importance to be able to manage your time effectively.
Further training modules that can help you improve the lives of those in your care include; an introduction to counselling, fostering children with disabilities, attachment and bonding, therapeutic needs of looked after children, the use of play in fostering, internet safety and much more!
Additional training to upskill our foster carers
Alongside our yearly calendar of varied training courses, we offer specialist training to enable our carers to adapt and be able to offer the very best placements for some of the most vulnerable children that may require your care:
Parent and Child: this prepares our carers to offer placements for parents to be looked-after alongside their child.
Bridge to Foster: this enables carers to support children moving on from a residential home setting into a fostering household.
Carers Academy: in-depth training on how to support children through therapeutic approaches.
Fostering Changes: a 12-week course run by a supervising social worker in upskilling our carers to take on more diverse and challenging placements.
Where can I access training?
At Fostering Solutions Oundle, we have four training venues that we use across our localities. This ensures that carers can access local training without having to travel too far.
Carers can choose where to access their training and at all our training, we offer lunch and refreshments, which is always much appreciated by our carers!).
Alongside our face-to-face training, we have online training for all carers to access; we appreciate that it isn’t always possible to attend training but with the option of online it means our carers still have the opportunity to build up upon the skills and knowledge to best meet the needs of the children in placements.
What do our carers say about our training?
“Training is nearly always fun, no pressure to get things right and lovely to catch up with other foster carers too”.
“Training keeps us up to date on policy, change and new practices. It is very informative and an integral part of fostering”.
“Although we didn’t quite know what to expect at the training, we soon felt very welcomed and it was a chance to meet other couples starting out and making the first steps towards becoming foster carers”.
“The trainer was quick to put you at ease, it didn’t feel like a classroom lesson, and there was lots of valuable input and fun activities that gave you more of an insight of the role of a foster carer. The statistics were quite a revelation of just how many young people are in need of a loving, nurturing, supportive family unit”.
“Great support throughout and we came away with knowing so much over the three days, we both said we could’ve quite easily have stayed the whole week, we were keen to learn so much more!”
Find out more about Our Training
By Rose Griffiths, Carer Engagement Officer with Fostering Solutions