- At Changing Futures Fostering, we invest a large amount of time into giving our foster parents the right support, skills & knowledge to foster effectively
- This involves a comprehensive training programme both before you foster children & once you are an active foster parent
- What does our “Changing Futures through Fostering” training involve?
Our not-for-profit fostering agency invests a lot of time in giving you the right support, skills and knowledge to foster effectively. Part of how we do this is through a comprehensive programme of training both before you foster children and once you are an active foster parent. This will:
- Help you identify, use and build skills and knowledge you’ve built through your life and/or your work.
- Give you the chance to learn new things, be recognised for your achievements, and put the learning into practice with lots of support from other foster parents and from our staff.
- Pre-approval training – “Changing Futures through Fostering”
“The facilitators made the programme. It was their approach & skills that enabled an environment in which we could all learn and feel at ease to ask the questions we wanted to and get the best out of the course.”
Jane, foster parent, September 2021 training.
Foster parents and young people who’ve been in care helped design this training to make sure it gives prospective foster parents the skills they need to meet children’s needs. Our fostering training, ‘Changing Futures through Fostering’, skills foster parents in a therapeutic approach covering topics such as how to manage under high pressure and stressful situations. A therapeutic parenting approach is not rocket science; in its simplest form, it is parenting and nurturing a child to enable them to grow and mature whilst considering the trauma and behaviours that may have affected them. It’s by sticking with children when things can get tough that they can start to develop a sense of self-belonging in the home you share with them.
Across 10 training sessions, we will give you practical training that gives you tools and techniques to use in real life. Our training offers jargon-free explanations about why and when to use them and how they might help. The training includes topics like:
Understanding the impact of attachment experiences both for foster children and their foster parents. In short, attachment relates to the connectedness or bonds between people. Attachment patterns are shaped largely in early childhood in response to relationships between a child and their caregivers and influence how people think, feel and relate to others.
This area gives attention to relationships involved in the fostering home and the impact of fostering on significant relationships. It thinks about the whole system of people and agencies around a child, and how they interact and with what impact. It helps you take a broader perspective to help meet children’s needs.
It’s a not incredibly accessible name for a very everyday thing that humans do! Mentalisation has variously been described as seeing yourself from the inside out, thinking about feelings, and curiously imagining the thoughts and feelings of others and of yourself. It’s got elements of mind-mindedness and empathy. You’ll learn ways to think about your thoughts and feelings and those of others and tools to help you explore and respond to young people’s behaviours appropriately, given their needs and attachment styles. Mentalising can be hard to do well when we’re stressed or triggered by things, and we can get false impressions of what’s going on in other’s minds, e.g. “they’re doing this to wind me up”. We teach you ways to help slow things down and step back to help mentalise in stressful situations.
You’ll learn about children and how their brains and bodies develop across their lives. By the end of the training, you’ll understand the different stages of child development, and importantly for your role as a foster carer, you’ll learn about how trauma and abuse can impact children’s development and how they feel, think and act/behave.
- Induction – getting ready to start!
At this stage, fantastic, you’re approved as a foster parent! We’ll give you an induction into your role as a foster parent and what you can expect from the agency. You’ll be supported as you go, by other experienced foster parents who’ll be great sources of support and information.
- Building your specific skills and knowledge – mandatory training
Over the first year to eighteen months following your approval as a foster parent, you’ll need to complete the fostering training and development standards (TDSs). We’ll help you complete these and give you specific training as needed.
You’ll have to complete some mandatory training, including first aid, safeguarding, medication, keeping children safe and well in the home, and managing challenging behaviour. Lots of the mandatory training will be early in your fostering vocation or career.
- Keeping going – learning and growing
Learning is a process, and it doesn’t end with training…. In fact, that’s really just the start! If you foster with us, you’ll come to monthly group meetings with other foster parents. You’ll also have access to ongoing training, some of which will be online and some available virtually on your computer or mobile phone. Sometimes, we’ll identify specific training you need related to the specific child or young person in your care or likely to come into your care.
All of our training helps you meet the national minimum standards for fostering and the training and development standards. Our approach to training is informed by our values, and we really emphasise the importance of relationships throughout. Given that foster parents and experienced young people helped to develop our initial training, we can guarantee that it will meet your needs and the children’s needs exceptionally well.
At Changing Futures Fostering, we’re all about providing our foster parents with the support they need to really make a difference in a vulnerable child’s life. If you’re interested in learning more about the fostering training we offer, please click here to contact us, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to our brilliant fostering team! Alternatively, feel free to call us on 01429 363 127.