Fostering is continually changing and developing. It is the practice at ALL4U Fostering to make sure that all our foster carers, as well as our staff, are kept up-to-date with current legislation, guidance and policies. ALL4U Fostering recognises that the role its foster carers play is crucial in the lives of the children/young people we look after. Our training programme is designed to meet your learning needs, and support you in providing the best possible care, as well as giving you the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge in areas fundamental to achieving the best possible outcomes for those you look after.
Training is a vital part of the fostering task, and as such begins during your initial assessment.
PRE-APPROVAL TRAINING FOR THOSE APPLYING TO BECOME FOSTER CARERS –
You will be required to take a full and active part in the Preparation Training Course. This course explores what the fostering task involves, looking at such matters as ‘safer caring’, understanding the feelings of children/young people in foster care, and looking at the impact of fostering on your own family, among other things.
This course will form part of your fostering assessment, and must be completed, before approval to be a foster carer can be given. Sometimes the course is arranged over 3 full days, or it may be arranged with shorter sessions over a few weeks, dependent upon the needs of the group of people being assessed.
POST-APPROVAL TRAINING FOR FOSTER CARERS –
Once you have been presented to the fostering panel, and are approved as a foster carer, you will receive a thorough induction into the way that ALL4U Fostering works. This will include introduction to the agency’s policies and procedures. You will look at issues such as safeguarding, attachment, child development, first aid, radicalisation, equality and diversity, communication, data protection, recording and reporting, outcomes for children/young people, CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation), and internet safety.
In your post-approval training you will have to reach the level required by the Training, Support and Development Standards (TSDS) issued by the Department of Education within a year of your initial approval. The areas to be covered are linked to the National Minimum Standards for Fostering and are as follows:-
Understand the principles and values essential for fostering children/young people.
Understand your role as a foster carer.
Know how to communicate effectively.
Understand the development of children/young people.
Keep children/young people safe from harm.
Your supervising social worker will support you in completing the above.
CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
This is a term used to describe your ongoing learning and training in your role as a foster carer, and covers a wide variety of topics. We believe in giving our foster carers as much opportunity as possible to enhance their knowledge, and thus their ability to give children/young people the support they need to achieve their full potential.
Training can take many forms, and knowledge can be acquired, in a variety of ways. Your training will be documented in your own training portfolio, so that you have a full record of your achievements, and can reflect on what you have learnt, and how it impacts on the way you care for children/young people. Your supervising social worker will discuss your learning and development needs with you, so that a Personal Development Plan (PDP) can be created and regularly updated.
Learning can be achieved by formal facilitated training sessions, workshops, online training and research, one-to-one training sessions with your supervising social worker and other professionals, relevant reading, support group meetings etc. Whatever way your learning is achieved ALL4U Fostering will endeavour to help and guide you.
ALL4U Fostering recognises that foster carers will sometimes need special skills for dealing with children/young people experiencing particular difficulties. In such circumstances ALL4U Fostering will ensure that foster carers are given appropriate training, so that they are able to give the child/young person in their care the right support.
In addition, it is possible for foster carers to become specialised in an identified field of fostering, for instance, in parent and child placements, or in caring for those who are disabled.
THE SECURE BASE MODEL
All children/young people need to feel secure in their relationships with the adults who look after them. Where children/young people have not experienced this kind of sensitive parenting, that promotes security and resilience, they will find it difficult to trust and will struggle with managing their feelings and behaviour. The Secure Base Model provides a positive framework for therapeutic care-giving, which helps children/young people to move towards greater security, and builds resilience. It focuses on the interactions that occur between caregivers and children/young people on a day-to-day basis in the home environment, but it also considers how these relationships can enable the child/young person to develop competence in the outside world, peer group and community. ALL4U Fostering recognises the benefits to be gained by using this model, and our approach to training takes this into account.
If you would like to talk further about training please ring us on 01959-535025