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, Journey to Foster
- Induction training – what to expect from your fostering service including access to support and further training.
- 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 services 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.
In England, all foster carers are required to complete the Training Support and Development Standards within 12 to 18 months of being approved as a foster carer. If two adults foster together, they are both required to complete the TSD workbooks.
Responsibility for the development of policy and practice in the support development and training of foster carers rests with 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 provide a national benchmark that sets out what foster carers should know, understand and be able to do within the first 12-18 months after being approved. The TSD standards are part of the National Minimum Standards and Ofsted inspects fostering services on achievement of TSD by their foster carers.
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!
Please see link to Department for Education website containing downloadable work books
Family and Friends/Kinship foster carers are also required to complete a shorter version of the TSD workbooks to reflect the different role of Kinship foster care. This shorter version may also be used with Support 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 completion 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.