How to Become a Foster Carer Rotating Header Image

What Training Do Foster Carers Receive?

Training for foster carers is a priority because increasingly more is expected of them in terms of the complexity of children’s needs.

Preparation training is a pre-requisite of approval as a foster carer and this agency runs a four day “Skills to Foster” course which provides a basic introduction to fostering. The course includes topics such as how children come to be looked after, the care “system”, practical advice on managing behaviour and what needs to change within a household when they start fostering, particularly focussing on “safe care”. The course also gives applicants a chance to explore attitudes to discipline, valuing difference and diversity, working with professionals, their own life experiences and how these can impact on the fostering task.

Core training for newly approved foster carers consists of 5 main subject areas : attachment, supporting children’s health needs, supporting children in education, safer caring and dealing with contact. These are broad areas and within these, carers learn about managing behaviour, working with special needs children health and safety in the home understanding the importance of the child’s family. Mandatory courses within the first year are “Management of Aggression” including strategies to divert a child from aggressive behaviour and basic First Aid.

This agency has offered various other specialist training opportunities for carers during the past year. Examples include training on legal matters and child care policy covering legal routes to care and foster carer’s contribution to care plans for such children, updating carers on the current policy requirements of Local Authorities who place children in fostercare. We have also run training for carers wishing to have parent and child placements, (normally young mums and their babies) who need a period of assessment and monitoring or just educating in terms of routines and meeting the baby’s needs. The course focuses on the special requirements of such a placement in terms of the observation of mum and baby and recording their progress. Another popular course this year was “disability awareness” when students from a special needs college delivered a training course devised by themselves to help people gain a better understanding of disability. We have also run a drug awareness course to help carers stay aware of the latest recreational drugs used by youngsters, what harm they can cause and how to help a youngster avoid using them. Also covered in this course is alcohol abuse and prescribed drug misuse. One of the most contentious issues for foster carers these days is use of technology and the internet. Youngsters are always one step ahead in terms of the technology and we need to help our carers keep up in order to keep their youngsters safe.

South African born Keith has lived in the south of England for most of his life. After graduating from University with a degree in Business Information Systems Management he decided to start Strawberrysoup a website design company based in West Sussex and Dorset. Keith successfully gained entry into the Southampton University Air Squadron and spent over 12 months training to fly. Since then he has continued to follow his interest in flying and has now began his own training in the form of a Private Pilot\\\’s Licence. Keith also spent 13 months working within the Image and Printing Group at Hewlett Packard in Bracknell. Throughout his time there, he was responsible for many activities including events organisation and website design and maintenance.

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