We understand that caring for children can be a demanding role, that's why we offer a wide range of support to help you provide a high standard of care for the children you look after and develop new skills to enable you to undertake the tasks we ask of you.
Fostering Social Worker
Just as each child placed has their own social worker, every foster carer has a social worker to support them too.
They will work closely with the foster carer discussing anything relating to the child. They are qualified, experienced workers who bring a range of experiences in childcare. They work with foster carers to develop and build on their experiences and enhance their skills.
They act as a link into the Children's Services department ensuring that carers feel valued and confident about fostering.
We encourage our foster carers to attend one of the support groups taking place at various locations across the county. Most carers find it useful to get together and provide mutual support as many experience similar issues and situations.
There are also support groups for those fostering teenagers and for men who foster.
Sometimes problems happen outside of usual office hours. There are two emergency systems in place:
The Emergency Duty Team deals with all general social work emergencies, including the placement of children.
A 24 hour foster carers support telephone line, covered by Family Placement Social Workers and other experienced social workers. They can offer advice on the telephone and work with you to try and resolve the problem.
Foster Care Association
We pay subscriptions for all foster carers to be members of the Fostering Network. Fostering Network is a UK charity for everyone with a personal or professional involvement in fostering.
Visit their website for more information
Sons and daughters group
We know that it is not only adults who foster. It can be difficult for foster carers own children to share their homes, lives and parents.
We offer an activity based group to all children which are usually during school holidays.
We also send all ‘sons and daughters’ a birthday and Christmas card.
To help you care for your foster children, it is important you receive regular, high quality training. It is part of the Fostering Agreement that our carers must attend or complete a minimum of two training opportunities each year. If you complete five or more, you will receive an honorarium, usually presented at the Annual Placement Service Dinner.
We have a strong commitment to providing a number of training opportunities each year, building on the skills discussed when preparing for fostering. In addition, we offer the Fostering Payment for Skills Pathway.
Carers are also encouraged to suggest training courses which they feel may meet their needs.
We hold training courses at various times and venues. Carers have the opportunity to attend courses with other childcare workers such as social workers and residential workers.
We are currently training staff as assessors so that carers have the opportunity to study for an NVQ Level 3 in the Care of Children and Young People.