As an approved foster carer there is a general requirement that you attend three training events each year which are provided by the agency who holds your approval. There are many topics but some of the main ones are:
- Safe caring;
- Child protection;
- Working in partnership;
- Managing challenging behaviour;
- Moving in moving on.
You may be encouraged by your agency to undertake specialist training at your local college such as NVQ childcare and fostering related courses.
Foster carer training – CWDC
Training, Support and Development Standards:
Foster carers – role, care, communicate, understand, safeguard, develop.
- Standard 1: Understand the principles and values essential for fostering children and young people
- Standard 2: Understand your role as a foster carer
- Standard 3: Understand health and safety, and healthy caring
- Standard 4: Know how to communicate effectively
- Standard 5: Understand the development of children and young people
- Standard 6: Safeguard children and young people (keep them safe from harm)
- Standard 7: Develop yourself
Foster carer – Foster children
New foster carers must demonstrate that they meet the Training, Support and Development (TSD) Standards within twelve months of their approval to foster children and young people.
All existing foster carers are expected to complete the Standards and gain the CWDC Certificate of Successful Completion.
Fostering agencies have been advised to take a common sense approach in evidencing how the standards are being met with experienced foster carers.
Annual Foster Carer Review
Whether you have had children living with you or not, your fostering service will arrange for a review of your first year as a foster carer. The review is presented to the fostering panel who will make a recommendation regarding your approval.
Fostering Services Regulations 2002 (Reg.29)
- The service provider must review approval of each foster parent in accordance with Regulation 29 [Reg.29 (1)]
- The review must take place no more than a year after approval and thereafter whenever the service provider considers it necessary but at intervals of not more than a year [Reg.29(2)]
The review can and often does recommend a change of approval such as being approved for more children or different categories such as ‘parent and child’ or ‘long term’.
Annual Foster Care reviews are also a formal oportunity for the foster carers to give feedback to the Panel both positive and negative about their year in fostering.
In our experience as fostering workers, the negative concerns that foster carers most often raise are:
- The lack of good enough support;
- The bureaucracy they encounter;
- Sometimes they feel their opinions have been undervalued.
You need to consider these reasons when discussing any application you might make with a Fostering Agency because in our experience, they are high on the list of reasons why foster carers feel the need to move Agencies later on.
Fostering Stepping Stones
Foster carers we have worked with have moved into different areas of professional childcare. Because of their fostering experiences, training and understanding of child development, foster carers have gained easier access to higher qualifications and some have trained as:
- Specialised foster carers;
- Social workers;
- Play therapists;
- Youth workers;
- Sexual health workers;
- Residential workers;
Although some foster carers further their interest in childcare, most continue to choose foster as well.
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