Skills to Foster Training – Becoming a Foster Carer
Embarking on the journey to becoming a Foster Carer can be scary. And whether you have parented before or not; looking after someone else’s child IS different! There are lots of different reasons why children come into care, and with each child comes a new set of skills you will need to call upon…skills you didn’t even know you had!
Of course, we don’t expect you to 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, 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 carers the confidence to fulfil their role, training becomes a valuable part of their development. The Skills to Foster training course is THE most comprehensive course to prepare all applicants during their journey to becoming a Foster Carer.
So, what is Skills to Foster?
Our Skills to Foster is a pre-approval training course run over two or three days or evenings. 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. You will meet other applicants on the same journey, and have the opportunity to ask lots and lots of questions – in fact, we encourage you to!
An Assessing Social Worker and Skills to Foster Trainer from Lorimer, 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.”
At Lorimer, Skills to Foster is a requirement for approval as a Foster Carer; if you are fostering as a couple then you would both need to attend all the sessions. Sometimes, we will also offer places to other adults in your household or support network if your Assessing Social Worker thinks this would be beneficial.
What is involved in the Skills to Foster Course?
The course runs over two or three days and consists of six separate sessions covering:
1. What do Foster Carers do?
The session aims to help you understand the different roles and responsibilities of a Foster Carer. It covers why children and young people may come into care and how their individual needs can be met. You will be introduced to the Secure Base Model which shows how security and resilience can be promoted in young people.
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. You will be encouraged to look at your own perceptions of identity and the assumptions we all make about others. We will also look at how to help looked after children be proud of their identity and who they are.
3. Working Together
Fostering requires working together with other professionals to achieve 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
This session 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 child placed in your home 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 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 children will move on from the foster home and how you can positively prepare them for this independent move.
Throughout all the sessions, there will be opportunities to discuss and reflect on what you are learning. The course content is brought to life through activities and practice examples, so you’ll know just what to expect when you are approved as a Lorimer Foster Carer!
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”.
Get in Touch
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 using the form below or call/WhatsApp Rachael on 07938 575 738.