Carers training support and development

We are committed to helping foster carers develop their skills and knowledge through regular training programmes, support, and development opportunities. Attendance and participation is part of the commitment asked of our foster carers. Learning styles and training needs vary from carer to carer, so we aim to provide a range of opportunities to reflect this.

Foster carers and their Family Based Care social worker should regularly explore and discuss what training and development opportunities are available.  A record of training attended/offered will be kept on your file and will be included in reports and discussions at your carer reviews.

Training needs can be met in several ways through

  • foster carers’ support groups – some of which may have a specialised remit 
  • discussion with Family Based Care social workers or the child’s social worker 
  • courses or seminars, organised by the organisation and by specialist organisations 
  • reading relevant books and journals
  • online training courses/research
  • coaching by an expert - for example – looking at the impact of trauma and neglect on a child or young person’s attachment. 
  • attending training events is also a way of meeting other foster carers and provides an opportunity to benefit from their experience and knowledge and to build up supportive relationships.
  • joint events with social workers, residential, educational, health and other staff, also provide an opportunity for all participants to share knowledge and skills.

All foster carers should have the opportunity to attend, or undertake online, training that is regarded as essential.  This includes

  • first aid
  • caring for black and asian minority ethnic children
  • attachment and child development
  • child protection and the law
  • safer caring
  • report writing and record keeping
  • online safety and child sexual exploitation.
  • food for thought
  • chrysalis – for those caring for over 12’s and those caring for Under 12’s.

Family Based Care promotes the use of a wide theory base including social pedagogy, The PACE Model, attachment and trauma informed practice.

You can help us improve the quality of our training, development and support by completing feedback questionnaires, getting involved in delivering training and taking part in working groups. 

Opportunities for foster carers in developing services

Several opportunities exist for foster carers to contribute towards the development of our services. The skills and experiences that you have in working with children and young people are recognised and valued. The Carer Participation Strategy identifies different ways you can contribute to the development of the fostering service. e.g 

  • planning, developing and participating in recruitment campaigns and consultation groups,
  • being a trainer or co-leader with members of staff on training courses, preparation groups and seminars,
  • membership of fostering panels.

There are also several participation or focus groups that you can join. Information is available from your Family Based Care social worker. 

Foster carers’ and their families own needs

It is important for all those involved in supporting children who live in foster care to recognise that fostering is only one part of foster carers’ lives and that they do, and should have, other aspects to their lives which are important to them. Fostering, particularly in the case of those caring for several children on a temporary basis, tends to take over the foster carers’ lives with little space, time or energy available for other activities. Such situations can lead to stress and general tiredness, making it difficult for foster carers to do their best for their own or foster children. If foster carers feel stressed or overwhelmed by the task, they should feel comfortable discussing this with their Family Based Care social worker in the first instance.  Many foster carers have children of their own and it can be the children of foster families who also see the trauma that a child or young people lives with due to their early life experiences.  We appreciate that foster caring for many birth children can be a tremendous positive influence on their lives, and can at times steer themselves into caring professions, we also understand the impact that fostering can have at times on an individual. Discussions with your Family Based Care social worker should take place and together we can consider how we limit or alleviate this.    

Support groups

Support groups offer a valuable, less formal opportunity for foster carers to share experiences and learn from each other. They can be a lifeline at times of stress, helping to reduce isolation and providing mutual peer support. The group may decide on set topics or training on specific issues as well as providing an opportunity to share views and ideas. It is important that all information shared in the group is treated as confidential and not discussed outside the group. Family Based Care social workers can provide more information about our range of support groups and consider with you which one you may prefer.

Resource bank

Speak to your family based care social worker about accessing our bank of helpful publications for foster carers.

Calendar downloads

Carer support groups calendar June to December 2024

Foster care training calendar June to December 2024