Training and Support
Our promise is that we will be with you every step of the way.
Being a foster carer is one of the most fulfilling things you can do. You provide much-needed love and support to young people in difficult situations, and to make the most impact, you need the right support.
We never expect foster carers to cope alone, which is why we always emphasise that we’re with you every step of the way.
A Buddy or Mentor to Show You the Way
We organise a buddy and mentor scheme that gives new foster carers individual support from more experienced foster carers. Consider this a less formal version of your foster training. We arrange for all our experienced foster carers to be trained in mentoring, and help you attain nationally recognised qualifications in the subject. The scheme is often the start of long-lasting friendships.
A Social Worker Who’s Always There for You
Once you’re approved as a foster carer, you’ll be assigned a supervising social worker who will be your first port of call for guidance, advice, and reassurance. They will play a vital role in matching you with a child and supporting you throughout the placement.
Round-the-Clock Help So You’re Never Alone
You’ll also be able to contact a senior social worker 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – we’re only ever a phone call away. If you have a problem in your personal life or with a child in care, we’ll be there to offer help. For example, if you’re having trouble getting a child to sleep at bedtime, a support worker can come and help you in your home.
Paid Respite for Your Peace of Mind
We give you 2 weeks of paid respite each year and can arrange regular breaks at other times. One thing people often don’t think of as support for foster carers is respite. To maintain commitment and energy levels and to help keep a perspective on the valuable role carers play, it’s always beneficial for them to get away once in a while to recharge.
A Helpful, 24/7 Fostering Forum
The foster carers’ forum is held every month. It’s an opportunity for foster carers to meet up, discuss fostering issues and learn from each other’s experiences. The forum also plays a key role in organising regular group activities we hold for our foster carers and the children in their care.
Financial Rewards in the form of Generous Payments
As a foster carer, you’re doing vital work – and we recognise this with generous reward payments. To learn more about what you earn as a foster carer, download our free Guide to What Foster Carers Are Paid.
The Opportunity to Build your Skills with Top-Notch Training
Foster carers come from all different backgrounds. Some have degrees, some never finished school. Some have worked with children before, and some are changing career completely.
We help you develop professionally, before and after you’re approved as a foster carer. There are essentially two stages of foster care training.
1. Pre-Approval Foster Care Training
When you start the process of becoming a foster carer, you take The Skills to Foster™ training for prospective carers. The Fostering Network, the UK’s biggest fostering charity, runs the course, and our carers consistently tell us how valuable it is.
The training takes place over 3 days. It covers an introduction that helps you prepare for the assessment process and the fostering journey. The sessions also provide an opportunity for you to learn about fostering and why children and young people become looked after.
We can also arrange bespoke development programmes if you need additional training before going before the approval panel.
2. Post-Approval Foster Care Training
When you foster with us, you and your social worker create an individual development plan. We identify what skills you already have and where you can enhance your skills. You can make suggestions about what training you want to do, and we’ll help you do it as long as it’s relevant to your fostering role.
As you complete training and gain skills and experience, you’re eligible for higher payments.
We also encourage and support all foster carers who want to achieve nationally recognised qualifications in care-related subjects. These qualifications can lead to future careers in areas such as social care, nursing and teaching.