Helen’s Fostering Blogs
Skills to Foster Training
Prior to being approved as Foster Carers George and I attended a two-day Skills to Foster Training. Skills to Foster is a pre-approval training course and its aim is to provide prospective Foster Carers with information about the skills and abilities needed to be a foster carer.
It was also a lovely opportunity for us to meet and start to get to know some of the other potential foster cares that would be working for the same Fostering Agency as us. Some of the other potential foster cares on the training course had already been fostering for many years. This was helpful to be able to sit and talk to people that had lived and breathed life as a Foster Carer.
The course covered all aspects of fostering and in particular therapeutic foster care. I am not going to lie the first time you hear that you should never tell a foster child ‘No’ or ask “why they did something” takes a little bit of time to get your head round, especially when it is possible they may have just smashed up your very expensive tv or hurt your much loved family pet. They talked about the ‘time in’ rather than ‘time out’ practice and why this is so important.
We were also asked to think about the emotions and feelings a child may go through about being fostered and apart from their families.
The potential and possibility for allegations that can occur whilst fostering is at the forefront of most foster carer’s minds. For George and I this was an area of concern for us. We also had to consider that this was not just about us, it would also be a potential risk for all our family and friends that would undoubtably come into contact with any children placed with us. Did we have the right to put those we love in that position and how would we manage situations so that they were protected against the possibility of any allegations being made against them.
We understood that should an allegation be made against us this could cost us dearly, for instance would it affect George’s relationship with his own daughter?
How and if would we be supported through such an event?
During the Skills to Foster training allegations were discussed and most importantly how you can safeguard yourself against them through safer caring. I have since done more training on safer caring and this remains an important factor in our day to day lives in fostering.
Over the two days we learnt that whilst fostering can and will be very rewarding it was also going to be demanding and difficult at times.
The Skills to Foster Training was a no nonsense, straight talking, eye opener into fostering children who have suffered trauma and how working with them therapeutically would be very different to how you would parent your own children. Our hour and half car journey home that first day was done in silence, both of us lost in our own thoughts and feelings about what we had learnt that day.
At the end of the two-day training course we were left with much to think about, we had a much better and clearer understanding of fostering.
George and I understood that fostering was going to change our life in many ways and that it would change how we lived and behaved in our own home. The big questions “could we do this?” and most importantly “did we really want to?”
Helen – A Blogging Foster Carer’s Journey