Training for Foster Carers
Fostering has become increasingly demanding and complex so Acorn is committed to providing high quality training that is accessible to all our foster carers. Investing in People is one of our strongest values and training programmes are an important element of our support to foster carers.
Pre-Approval Foster Carer Training
We provide all prospective foster carers with two full days of preparatory training. The overall aim of the course is to help participants to explore feelings around the experience of the child in placement and aspects of the fostering task.
There is, of course, an element of teaching and information giving throughout the course, but the key messages are initially drawn out through experiential work.
Post-Approval Foster Carer Training
Acorn Fostering Services recognise that fostering has become increasingly demanding and complex task; therefore, the agency is committed to providing quality training and support that is accessible and relevant to all our foster carers. Training is viewed by us as an important element of our support for foster carers in order to achieve better outcomes for children placed in its care.
We recognise that foster carers are expected not just to provide care and accommodation, but also to skilfully deal with and work within a difficult and challenging area of work that fostering bring to them such as dealing with disclosures about sexual abuse; looking after children with HIV, or a severe disability or fetal Alcohol Syndrome; children with ADHD and Autism, helping young people whose behaviour is deemed ‘out of control’.
It is this very arena of work, which undoubtedly makes foster carers face problems, dilemmas, challenges, disappointments and heartbreaks. And if appropriately supported and trained can bring successes, triumphs and rewards too.
These successes, triumphs and rewards inevitably would mean better outcomes for those children looked after by our Foster Carers.
Our Training and Development Programme looks at the issues around separation and loss, identity crisis, attachment difficulties and the abuse in the main, which can impact as much on carers as on the children they care for. It also explores the impact of living 24 hours a day with children so traumatised by their experiences that carers’ own lives can be at risk of being overwhelmed by their fostered child’s pain.
This is the pretext of Acorn Fostering Services’ conviction that investment in training opportunities for its carers is not only necessary but an important factor which will provide foster carers with an ability to maintain a sense of proportion, to hold realistic expectations and be able to see the positives among the negatives.
One of the main objectives that we wishe to achieve through our training programmes is to inculcate an ability and strength in our foster carers so that they are able to dust themselves down, evaluate the good things they felt the child gained from the placement, and then re-focus their energies on working with new children and families.
Online Post-approval Training
We have partnered with KCA, which is a training provider for the wider children’s workforce, specialising in professional development for those working with vulnerable or traumatised children and young people. Their online training programmes are highly flexible, ensuring that continuing development is accessible to all foster carers while accommodating individual needs.
They are complemented by a range of face-to-face training courses that promote evidence-based practice and encourage multi-agency working.
Support With TSD Standards
The Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) is responsible for ensuring that people working with children, young people and their families have the best possible training, qualifications, support and advice. The Standards have been designed to support Foster Carers from approval through the first two years.
Acorn Fostering Services has adopted CWDC’s framework for your training and professional development which will mean you get the best possible training, information and knowledge to truly make a difference to the lives of the children you care for.
The seven Standards cover the main areas of the foster care role and set out what Foster Carers should know, understand and be able to do:
- 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.