Training and support
We’re committed to helping our foster carers develop their skills and knowledge through regular training programmes, support, and development opportunities. Attendance and participation is part of the commitment asked for.
Learning styles and training needs vary from carer to carer, so we provide a range of opportunities to suit. The full training calendar can be accessed through your supervising social worker. This will provide information on the target audience and booking information.
You and your supervising social worker should explore and identify training needs in an ongoing manner. A record of training attended and offered will be kept on your file and will be included in reports and discussions at your carer reviews. Training can be delivered through:
- Carers’ support groups – some of which may have a specialised remit
- Discussions with supervising social workers or child’s worker
- Courses, workshops or seminars, organised by the department and by other organisations
- Reading relevant books and journals
- Online training courses or research, which is becoming increasingly popular because of its flexibility
- Coaching by an expert, for example looking at the impact of trauma and neglect on a child’s attachment.
Attending training events is also a way of meeting other carers and provides an opportunity to benefit from their experience and knowledge and to build up supportive relationships. Joint events with social workers, residential, educational, health and other staff, also provide an opportunity for all participants to share knowledge and skills.
All carers should have the opportunity to attend, or undertake online, training that is regarded as essential:
- Safer caring
- Child protection
- Receiving and storing of information
- Equality, diversity and rights
- Child development
- Internet safety
- First aid
You may also attend specific training to develop your own skills, or if you require more specific skills to care for an individual child or children, for example:
- Administration of medication
- Trauma and neglect
- Moving and handling
- Self-regulation and behaviour management
- Use of self
- Caring for children with disabilities, eg children with breathing problems or children who have fits.
There will be occasional training for all carers about guidelines, procedures, or new legislation that affects Looked After Children and carers. Opportunities may exist for you to work towards relevant, recognised, qualifications when these are available within the department’s resources. The library and information resource bank which the department has holds a selection of books, publications and magazines that may be helpful for you. Accessing this should be discussed with your supervising social worker
All our approved foster carers, regardless of approval category or skill level, are supervised by a named qualified social worker, known as the supervising social worker.
They’ll support you as you provide care and a child-centred environment to a child, and improve their wellbeing and life. The supervising social worker will also observe the child(ren) during the placement.
The supervising social worker will ensure you have access to adequate social work and other professional support, information and advice, to enable you to provide consistently high-quality care for a child or young person placed in your home.
For the duration of your time as a foster carer with us, you’ll benefit from support from the Fostering Network organisation, who provide a range of additional support services.
PO Box 6770