Training and support
At the very outset, alongside your assessment, prospective foster carers will be invited to our Skills To Foster training which takes place over six to eight evenings.
The Skills to Foster course provides basic information that will enable people interested in fostering to decide whether fostering in Bournemouth is for them or not. You will be given case studies to look at and activities to help you understand aspects of child development, safeguarding and safer caring, equality and diversity, as well as looking at the legal aspect and how children come into care.
During the course you will have the opportunity to meet some of our foster carers and you will be able to ask them anything you like about their fostering experiences.
Bournemouth have an extensive programme which will take you through everything you need to know from starting off as a brand-new foster carer; all the way through your progression to becoming an experienced and knowledgeable foster carer.
There are several training plans which lay out the mandatory requirements for all new carers as they progress in their fostering career. You will work with your Supervising Social Worker to develop a training plan which is specific and tailored to your needs as well as ensuring you have all the basic information needed to fully understand your role as a Foster Carer. Topics will include, but not be limited to:
Child Sexual Exploitation
The Impact of Domestic Violence
Working with Child Sexual Abuse
Safer Foster Care
Life Story Work
PACE and many more
There will also be a number of other specialised training opportunities that can be booked throughout the year that are not mandatory, but will be beneficial to improve your skills as a foster carer, these could include:
The Great Behaviour Breakdown – Challenging Teenage Behaviour
Parenting Following Domestic Violence
Global Development Delay
Mental Health First Aid for Youth and many more
Courses may change every year to reflect carers identified learning needs and where these are consistent with national and local service objectives.
As a brand-new foster carer, we also provide the 1st Year of Approval Group to give you more information around the services given to yourself and the children you will provide for, including information regarding:
Contact with Parents
Education and Health Visitors and many more
There is also additional support and information available at our monthly fostering forums and bi-monthly evening forums, all topics are decided on an annual basis. And further training is available online through our specialised training provider.
The training topics for each financial year are set out in our carer’s ‘Fostering Training Programme’’ which you will receive on completion of your assessment and Panel attendance and the ‘Schedule of Events’ that is emailed to all carers monthly.
As well as offering training and support to assist you with fostering, the pastoral side of fostering for you and your family is also important to us.
We offer monthly day forums and bi-monthly evening forums which offer an opportunity for you to network with fellow foster carers.
We also offer special social events including an annual Christmas party for both birth children and foster children and social groups for both the children of our foster carers and the children in placement.
In addition, foster carers are given membership of Foster Talk (www.fostertalk.org) an independent not for profit organisation which offers impartial advice and support for foster carers. Other benefits to being a member of Foster Talk include discounts for days out and with certain retailers.
We at Bournemouth value our foster carers and organise various events where our foster carers and their families can get involved.