Our foster training programme is extensive and is tailored to meet the needs of caring for children who may have had a difficult start in life, in addition to providing you with advice, information and foster care training courses to help with you becoming a foster carer.
At FosterCare UK we are committed to providing our foster parents with the skills they need to provide the best possible care service. As a member of the FosterCare UK team, you’ll have access to a range of high-quality foster carer training opportunities to help you meet the national minimum standards for fostering as well as aid in your professional development.
Training for our foster carers starts as soon as you apply to become a foster parent. All prospective foster carers are required to attend our ‘Skills to Foster’ training course. This preparatory course is based on a programme originally developed by the Fostering Network and aims to raise awareness about potential issues you may face as a foster carer.
These fostering courses are delivered with help from experienced carers who have received specific Fostering Network training – as well as managers, FosterCare UK staff and looked-after young people.
As an approved foster carer you will be expected to complete a minimum amount of core and specialist foster training annually to ensure you meet the Fostering Service Standards. At FosterCare UK we are dedicated to providing all the support and development services that our carers require, so we offer a wide range of training options that cover a variety of skills.
Some of this training is specific to foster parents and some courses are offered in partnership with other people involved in supporting children and young people in care.
Our annual foster care training plan is produced and distributed annually in March with the first courses starting the following month. We’re also more than happy to take requests for alternative courses – especially if your supervising social worker recommends a course that would be particularly helpful for your circumstances or foster care approval process.
Our contingent of core foster training courses includes:
Every foster carer’s training and educational needs are different. A carer who cares for young children for example, will have less need for training about care leavers. As a carer, you will have your own personal development plan which will form part of your discussion with your supervising social worker and with monthly support group meetings.
Our range of specialist training opportunities build on the skills and knowledge developed during our Core Training Programme. These classes give carers an opportunity to better understand the needs of children, young people and their families and the skills required by different types of fostering services. Our specialist training provision includes:
At FosterCare UK our ongoing training aims to help foster carers in everyday life as well as to manage difficult and challenging child behaviour. You may have had previous experience with children, but fostering is a role like no other and our continuous training and support will help to promote positive relationships with the children you look after. Children in foster care have often experienced traumatic circumstances, which means a specialist approach is needed to bring about that all important positive change in their lives and massively helps in improving their long-term outcomes.
We use a model known as PACE at the heart of all our training, which is a way of thinking, feeling, communicating, and behaving which aims to make the child feel safe. PACE stands for Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy. This may sound daunting at first, but the model reflects how parents naturally connect with very young infants.
Children who have experienced neglect or trauma are often afraid of parental figures and can develop a range of ways to manage these high levels of fear. Through the PACE model the children can allow others to get close to them by building trust.
For example. A child tells you they think they are bad, a knee-jerk reaction can be to deny this emotion, reassuring them that, of course they are not bad. Instead, we adopt a Curious approach, asking why they feel they are bad, allowing them a safe space to express themselves.
By adopting a PACE model approach, traumatised children discover they can rely on adults, trust them to open up to and truly be themselves with. They learn that their care-giver can look after them in a way they couldn’t on their own.
For adults, using PACE most of the time can reduce the level of conflict within the home, aids in breaking down defensive barriers, as well as coaxing very reserved children out of their withdrawal. All of which are common traits in fostered children. Through PACE, we alter our own point of view rather than aiming to change the child, moving away from perceiving behaviour as negative or challenging, instead searching for the unmet need behind it.
All our foster carers and staff are trained in “Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy” DDP, which addresses issues with attachment and helps children feel safe. Children may demonstrate controlling behaviours as a result of developmental trauma, and DDP helps fostering families to develop healthy patterns of relating and communicating based on the PACE model.
For more information on our fostering training and support services, or to start your journey to becoming a foster carer, please contact us today – our friendly staff are here to help. You can reach us by calling 0844 800 1941 or by filling out our online contact form.
If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with FosterCare UK, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.