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Optional Training Courses for Foster Carers

Our optional free training courses give you the opportunity to specialise in certain areas and become more skilled in helping your foster child achieve their full potential.

Continuing your professional development as a foster carer

As you quickly become a more experienced foster carer and complete your mandatory training, you’ll probably find you’d like to know more about certain topics. As well as having natural curiosity, you might have a foster child with specific needs you’d like to help them with.

You might also want to specialise in particular types of foster care. It’s worth noting that certain types of placement that require specific skills and training can attract a higher fostering allowance.

A rich and varied curriculum

Optional training is arranged into key areas like the ones listed below. We’ve included more detail about these further down the page.

  1. User guides
  2. Key skills
  3. 60-second catalogue
  4. Health & disability
  5. Specialist fostering topics
  6. Fostering finances

Our optional courses offer a rich curriculum, designed by fostering experts and delivered free of charge. There’s no limit on your learning across many topics.

If there’s something you’re interested in that’s not on the list, speak with your supervising social worker because we might be able to provide it ourselves or source it from a third party partner.

National Fostering Group is part of Outcomes First Group. Our sister organisations work with adults and children, and include clinical and wellbeing services, specialist schools and residential care homes.

Shine, our training platform, has made it possible for foster carers to access training across the full breadth of our 4 specialist areas. While these sit outside the usual fostering sphere, many are relevant to the types of fostering placements we provide.

Guest speaker talking about her experiences and key lessons that she’s used to safeguard yourself but also create a positive, safe and loving environment for foster children. She gave some great, inspiring tools.

Manda, foster carer

Optional foster carer training

Below is a sample of training courses available.

1. User guides

  • Shine
  • Charms

2. Key skills

  • IT
  • MS Word
  • MS Excel
  • Social media

3. 60-second catalogue (examples)

  • Avoiding Burnout
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • Stress Management

4. Health & disability course (examples)

  • ADHD
  • Allergy Awareness
  • Introduction to Autism
  • Introduction to Neuro-developmental Differences

5. Specialist fostering topics (examples)

  • Bridge to Foster
  • Asylum Seeking and Refugee Children

6. Fostering finances

  • Managing your self-employed tax returns and other financial topics. These courses are practical and tailored. They are delivered by our partner, The Fostering Network, and are not available through Shine, though they can be added to your record.

Just to thank you for this chance to learn things I didn’t know and be able to take this on my fostering journey with me. I look forward to completing more courses as a result of this so again thank you.

Kristy, foster carer

In-person and online courses

Our foster care training has been created to fit around your life. Online courses are delivered in instructor-led virtual classrooms (with other foster carers) or as e-learning modules (individual learning).

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, all training has been delivered online, though we’re planning to move to a blended learning environment and bring back in-person training for certain courses when we can.  In-person training is delivered at venues local to you.

Helping you be your best

Great outcomes for our foster children are achieved by investing in you. Our aim is to empower you to give children and young people a safe, supportive and nurturing environment where they can thrive and be happy. It also gives you more satisfaction in your role as a care professional.

Lifelong learning

We encourage a culture of lifelong learning and we don’t place any limits on the courses you can do. Our training platform Shine provides something for everyone, and we’re launching new courses all the time.

If you have any questions about foster care training, or any other aspect of becoming a carer, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local team.

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