Contact FSG on 08000 354 070 / 0208 778 9669

Training and support

Information

At Fostering Support Group , we pride ourselves on the high standards of training and support we provide. We know what a huge difference this will make to your fostering experience, and, in turn, to the children and young people you will look after. We are proud of our low placement breakdown rate and believe that it is down to a combination of the quality of our foster carers and the training, support and advice we offer.

What is important to know if that while you are taking care of children and young people, we will be taking care of you.

About support services

From the moment you make contact with us, our support for you begins. Initially, we will help you make the right decisions about fostering, from the types of fostering you may be suitable for, through to whether fostering is actually right for you, your home and those already in your life.

We understand that fostering can be a daunting prospect when you’re first considering the options and starting out. This is why we place great emphasis on helping you through this time, providing you with the information and support you need to make informed choices. Becoming a foster carer is a life-changing decision and we need to make sure you understand what is expected in your new role.

Once you have been approved and have started fostering, your supervising social worker will visit you at least once a month – more often if needed – to discuss your foster placement and any extra support you may need. They will also call each week to ask how things are going and offer any guidance. And if you should be going through a difficult time (as will happen in fostering), they will be with you every step of the way.

From helping you with the courses and training you take and advising you on how to handle certain situations, through to sharing the many rewarding moments you’ll enjoy as a foster carer, your supervising social worker will look out for you in a multitude of ways.

Training available

Before becoming an approved foster carer, you will attend a number of training workshops, as well as our three-day ‘Skills to Foster’ course. You will also be in regular contact with one of our assessing social workers, who will guide and advise you, and generally prepare you for the task of fostering.

The ‘Skills to Foster’ course is one of the primary training exercises you will complete in becoming an approved foster carer. The programme focuses on practical day-to-day skills and links into the Training, Support and Development Standards, other professional development qualifications and the competency-based assessment process.

The course is divided into seven sessions:

  1. What do foster carers do?
  2. Identity and life chances
  3. Working with others
  4. Understanding children in foster care
  5. Safer caring
  6. Transitions
  7. My family fosters

 As part of your pre-approval training, you will also be required to attend several training workshops, which can cover areas such as attachment, allegations and safe caring.

Training programmes

Once you become an approved foster carer, there are monthly training sessions, which include subjects on child-related matters such as child protection, recording skills and drug awareness.

Fostering is increasingly being seen as a profession and all foster carers will need to acquire the CWDC qualification. This is the national standard for all carers, irrespective of who you foster with. Some people find this daunting but please don’t be put off. You will be doing most of the work already in your role as a foster carer and it is an opportunity to gain a valuable qualification.

There is also a comprehensive training programme available, which covers all ages and aspects of fostering children and young people. Your supervising social worker will identify any training that will help you in your current placement, or will contribute to you developing a specialist role e.g. working with mothers and babies.

Each foster carer has a training profile, which documents all the courses attended. At each course there is also an opportunity to record what you have learnt. This information can be used at a later date towards the NVQ, Caring for Children and Young People, Level 3.

If you feel that there is a specific area of work or issue you want to know about, please contact your supervising social worker. If they identify a course that is not available through Fostering Support Group, every effort will be made to find an appropriate course with an external training agency.

‘Caring for Children and Young People’ NVQ Level 3

This award is a nationally recognised qualification for those working in a variety of settings within the childcare field. Equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practice is central to NVQ and the course builds on the everyday work you are doing as a foster carer. An NVQ ‘Level 3’ award is for work that demands competence in a broad range of work activities, and assesses the work of foster carers against a national set of standards. All assessments are undertaken in the workplace, which in the case of foster carers is their own home. It is hoped that all foster carers will eventually obtain an NVQ Level 3 in childcare.

There is no pass or fail for an NVQ. If evidence is presented, the carer is assessed as competent. If not, they would be assessed as not yet competent, meaning they may need extra study, experience or training in order to reach the required standard. All of the training provided by Fostering Support Group is linked to NVQ units.

If you are interested in undertaking an NVQ or have completed the qualification and would like to become an assessor, please contact your supervising social worker. FSG will also pay for foster carers to attend their local college to undertake this training.

Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC)

The Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care have been developed by the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) to ensure that all foster carers receive the relevant induction, training and support, and continual professional development.

The Standards set out clearly what foster carers should know, understand and be able to do. All foster carers are expected to work towards the Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care within 12 months of approval, and will be provided a Workbook to enable foster carers to evidence the Standards. Joint foster carers are each required to contribute to one Workbook.

Support groups and carers training dates

Carer testimonials

“I have been with the agency for 19 years. You always get support and training, and they are always there to help. I feel I can pick up the phone any time to speak to someone. I have seen changes over the years but on the whole they have been very positive. This is more than just a job – it is a way of life.”