Core training programme
All of our staff are experienced childcare practitioners, who have extensive and diverse backgrounds in working with children, young people and their families. Together we have developed and deliver Core Training Programmes with attachment relationships at their heart, to help foster parents acquire the specific knowledge and skills they need to successfully parent a fostered child.
Your fostering journey with us starts with our bespoke introductory 3-day Skills to Foster Course. This is led by our most experienced staff and is supported by experienced foster carers from the agency.
This interactive 3-day learning course becomes the foundation for all other training within the Core Training Programmes.
Each of our Core training programmes target a different area of learning and development and incorporate a variety of training methods to enhance learning. Our aim is to increase knowledge and understanding about behaviour and equip foster parents with the skills, strategies and tools needed to parent the children in their care. We directly relate our training whenever possible to the children placed with you, as we believe this is the best way to help you successfully therapeutically reparent.
Our experienced Link Workers also often attend training courses run for foster parents as we believe that through shared learning they are best able to provide you with the post-training support you need.
Our training programmes are delivered locally in the areas where our foster family groupings live, and by using community centres and venues, we help to support local communities. Training in small ‘fostering communities’ allows carers to develop relationships with one another, friendships and peer support networks. For many, this makes the training experience less daunting because we understand from experience that many people embarking on a fostering career for the first time, training is something that you may or may not be used to
To support you as foster parents, we run our training courses only in school term, and from 10am to 2pm. This allows you the space and time to take and collect children from school without having to rush. We always provide you with refreshments and lunch, to ensure the best possible learning experience.
For those who may need support in attending training, for example, those with preschool children at home, whenever possible we arrange daycare support to allow you to attend. This may be from another foster carer, or from a member of your own family or personal support network who has been assessed by us to look after your foster child for short periods.
To enable those foster parents who have been unable to attend a specific course identified for them, each September and October, we run ‘catch-up’ training courses at our central office training venue in Crosshands. These may be run on weekends dependent on need.
As well as group training, we also offer supplemental E-Learning programmes for those who wish to add to their knowledge in this way. Our closed Facebook groups also offer the opportunity for live chats/debate on a variety of topics and fostering news, as well as offering further peer support and mentoring, on top of our bi-monthly area support groups.
Our core training package has 6 separate learning programmes:
Each year your Link Worker will work closely with you to identify which courses within these programmes you should complete as part of your ongoing learning and development, and will also provide additional 1:1 teaching and guidance either to supplement a training course or as part of your day to day professional development.
In addition to our Core training programme, we also provide complimentary external training and workshops from other experts and our Parent and Child programme for those carers/applicants with the skills to offer this specialised work.
Each fostering household is given a learning and development workbook/file helping you to create a personal career development plan. This is used to record training already undertaken and to record your self-reflection on what you have learnt from each piece of training and how it will affect the way you practice and to help you plan your future training needs.
Our carer training programmes are updated annually in line with new legislation and best practice.
Ongoing personal and professional development is vital for all of our carers as it increases placement stability by enhancing a foster parents ability to meet the needs of the children they care for and ensures they remain up to date with fostering practices.