‘Another significant strength is foster carer training, which exceeds expected practice.’ Ofsted Nov 2014
Children in foster care live through the trauma of leaving their birth families and adjusting to a new family. Early experience of separation, loss and inadequate parenting will leave a mark. Looked After Children often display complex and challenging behaviours, which cause stress and anxiety for their carers.
Foster carers need to nurture children who have a range of difficulties stemming from their early unsatisfactory relationships. They need to find special ways of parenting the children to help them experience a secure attachment and develop good emotional health.
‘We both feel that the training opportunities are second to none and in particular extremely beneficial to our personal development as foster carers’.. JT & ST Approved Carers June 2015.
Our commitment, Your commitment
Children Always First considers a serious commitment to learning and development to be a key and essential ingredient of becoming an excellent foster carer. Children Always First is committed to training staff and foster carers to provide a ‘therapeutic’ care experience to children.
We have learnt that carers want to be engaged and stimulated by their training, do not want to see the same face running it every time and need it delivered at times that fit with busy lives.
Therefore Children Always First will ensure that training is bespoke, well prepared and executed by a variety of experienced trainers. Our training will often be delivered at weekends and evenings as well as during office hours so it can be accessible to all.
‘The training programme is comprehensive, good quality and enhances the skills of the foster carers. This is supplemented by regular carer support groups.’Ofsted Nov 2014
Children Always First operate a modular training system which comprises of 7 compulsory courses every year for the main carer and a further wide range of complimentary training which you can opt in or out of. Our clear expectation is that each primary carer will undertake at least seven courses a year and each secondary carer at least three.
We try to run each course twice during the year at different times and locations so we make it as easy as we possibly can for carers to fulfil their training obligations.
‘Each carer has a personal and professional development plan which addresses their training and support needs, based on the outcomes of supervision as well as their own needs and those of the children. This promotes an impressive level of professionalism.’ Ofsted 2014
If you have already fostered, or are with another agency, we will take this into account in assessing your personal development plan and ensure you do not have to repeat courses you have already done. We will also fund external training for carers if relevant courses are identified.
To help you achieve what can sometimes seem a daunting task, Children Always First provides a CORE substantial training course based on an attachment model devised by Dr Kim Golding that will provide you with ideas and suggestions for how to improve the care you offer.
Children Always First will establish a Personal Development Plan for each carer every year and ensure this closely matches their training needs. We will also help all registered foster carers evidence their skills in a portfolio, required as part of the National standards for foster carers. Carers are assisted in this task by their designated Fostering Social worker and our team of Trainers.
‘The agency team is strong from a point of view of practical experience and theoretical underpinning. The training is something that you can be proud of because it engages the interest of the participants and has some new things to learn for people who already have some knowledge’… AD Foster Carer March 2015