The Training, Support and Development Standards (TSD)
In England, all foster carers are required to complete the Training Support and Development Standards within 12 to 18 months of approval
Following the closure of the Children’s Workforce Development Council in April 2012, responsibility support and development of carers and their families passed to the Department for Education. This includes the TSD standards for foster carers, including online resources, such as training materials and case studies, and the TSD workbooks.
The Training, Support and Development (TSD) standards form part of a your induction in the role.
They provide a national minimum benchmark that sets out what foster carers should know, understand and be able to do within the first 12-18 months after being approved. You can present your evidence in a range of ways. The most important thing is that you evidence all of the standards under each of the headings.
The TSD standards are part of the Ofsted inspection criteria and in 2011 they became part of the National Minimum Standards too. Supervisors play a key role helping foster carers complete the TSD standards within the required timescales. Foster carers may be unsure of what’s expected of them and sometimes feel overwhelmed, especially if they’ve not undertaken any qualifications in recent years.
There are a lot of useful case studies and examples on line, and your fostering service may set up a group for likeminded carers completing their workbooks. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Find the workbooks here
Family and Friends Carers (Kinship Carers)
As family and friends (kinship) carers, you may often take care of children at short notice and in difficult circumstances, therefore the deadline for them to complete the standards has been extended. Those who are new to fostering a family member or a friend’s child have up to 18 months to complete the standards.
A shorter version of the TSD standards workbook is available to use with family and friends (kinship) carers. This may also be used with Support Carers.
All fostering service providers are expected to ensure that carers are trained to provide high quality care, and meet the needs of each child or young person placed in their care. This will include:
- Pre-approval training – Skills to Foster, Preparing to Foster
- Induction training – Working in Partnership with your Fostering Service
- Ongoing core training such as:
- Attachment and Loss
- Building Identity
- Transitions and Endings
- Parenting a child who has been sexually abused
- Moving Children on to Adoption
- Safer Caring
- Supporting Children’s Education
- Fostering a child with a disability
- Supporting contact with birth parents
- Life Story Work
- Child Protection/ Safeguarding Children
- Coping with Allegations
You should also be provided with the opportunity to attend:
- Specialist training courses e.g. Men who Foster, managing challenging behaviour, working with HIV , etc
- Professional vocational training – NVQ level 3.
- On Line specialist courses
If there are two adults in the household approved as foster carers, both will be expected to complete the relevant training.
Fostering agencies will usually arrange training around child care commitments or to facilitate the attendance of working partners, so this may often take place in the evening or at weekends.
Details of organisations that publish books and resources to help with your on- going development as a foster carer can be found on our useful resources page