Skills to Foster Training – Becoming a Foster Carer
Embarking on a journey to become a Foster Carer can be scary. And whether you have parented before or not looking after someone else’s child IS different! Every child in care is there for varying reasons and with each child comes a new set of skills you will need to call upon…trust me, skills you didn’t even know you had, like the worlds best negotiator!!
Now we don’t expect you develop these skills and have all the knowledge needed to become a Foster Carer overnight nor will we throw you in at the deep end without preparation. At Lorimer Fostering we want the best for the children and young people we look after and this cannot happen without the hard work and dedication of our Foster Carers. To give the carers the confidence of fulfilling their role training has to become a valuable part of their development. Skills to Foster training is THE most comprehensive course offered to all applicants who are on their journey to becoming a Foster Carer.
What is Skills to Foster?
Our Skills to Foster is a pre-approval training course run over three days by two Lorimer Fostering Social Workers. The aim of the course is to provide prospective Foster Carers with information about the skills and abilities needed to begin a career in fostering. It will give you an understanding of how fostering will have an impact on your life and the lives of those around you.
Louise Mason, Assessing Social Worker and Skills to Foster Trainer, states “Our training is informal, easy to follow and participative…it’s great fun! It runs parallel to your assessment so you will get to meet others going through the same process as you, although not necessarily at the same stage. This is a good opportunity to ask questions, state your fears, help each other through it and develop friendships. Don’t worry we try not to make it like a teacher-classroom situation which is why we keep it to a small group; we find this helps those not so comfortable with these situations feel at ease.
What is involved in the Skills to Foster course?
The course is ran over three days and consists of six separate sessions covering:
1. What do Foster Carers do?
This session aims to help you understand the roles and responsibilities of a Foster Carer. It covers why children and young people may come into care and how their needs can be met.
2. Identity and Life Chances
This session will provide you with a better understanding of how to work with looked after children whilst recognising issues of diversity and discrimination. It will also look at how to help looked after children be proud of their identity.
3. Working Together
Fostering a young person requires a whole team of professionals having the skills and abilities to work together on getting the best outcomes for the young person. This session will go through how best to draw out the skills you probably already have.
4. Understanding Children and Young People
Session 4 will furnish you with the knowledge of the behaviours and challenges you may face as a Foster Carer. It will give you an understanding of child development and how a child’s early experience can affect their behaviour.
5. Safer Caring
During this session we will go through the different types of abuse a looked after child may have suffered. It will also allow the opportunity to see how fostering will impact your own family. Safer caring will be discussed at length so that you will gain a deeper understanding on how to you can provide a safe environment for the family to minimise any risks.
During the last session we will begin to consider the reasons why looked after children will move on from the foster home and how you can positively prepare them for this independent move.
The feedback for our Skills to Foster course has been fantastic, a potential Foster Carer highlighted recently “We really enjoyed the training process and found it fun as well as informative”.
If you would like a career in fostering and feel you can help a young person in need then please get in touch with us; you can either submit your details above and we will call you back or you can contact us on (freephone) 0800 038 7799.