Training and professional development
Foster carers make a real difference in the lives of children and young people. Our fostering services team aims to provide foster carers with professional training and development opportunities to support them with the children and young people they look after. We aim to provide training at times that fit in with foster carers childcare responsibilities and other commitments foster carers have.
Ideally, we prefer foster carers to attend face-to-face training, as this is both informative and gives carers the opportunity to meet other carers and form local links. However, we recognise that people learn in different ways and have other commitments that make attendance at a live course problematic. With this in mind, we offer foster carers the opportunity to undertake some courses via a distance learning option and we have introduced a large number of online training courses. We offer responsive provision and during public health concerns are able to offer virtual courses and webinars alongside our comprehensive online training option
We are committed to continuing to develop our courses so we can present foster carers with the best training available. We will continually assess our courses to ensure they meet the changing needs of foster carers.
Foster carers complete an evaluation of the training they have attended and this together with the foster carers annual performance reviews enables us to look at areas that need to be improved or developed.
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There are 2 supportive routes of our training programme
We offer new foster carers core courses to support their understanding and learning in key areas, this is part of the fostering commitment and helps new carers progress through the payment for skills scheme. All approved foster carers are expected to complete their required core training within 2 years of approval and approved carers should revisit their core training at least 3 yearly.
Core courses are:
- Child Protection Safeguarding (it is a recommendation that this course is completed as soon as practical following approval)
- Paediatric First Aid (it is expected that this course will be completed within the first year of fostering)
- Making Placements Work
- Recording Skills Training for Foster Carers
- Equality and Diversity
Continuing professional development training
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Courses provide foster carers with a range of training opportunities to keep them up to date with current best practice and provide skills to nurture, support and care for children they are looking after.
Continuing Professional Development training is commissioned in direct response to government or departmental directives and as a direct result of foster carers needs identified through the Annual Performance Review and training evaluations. Examples of courses on offer include, safer caring, caring for tweens, caring for teens, supporting parenting in early infancy, understanding education, connected persons, relationships and sex education, raising early achievement in literacy, promoting positive behaviours and relationships, caring for children with disabilities, leaving care to name but a few!
All Warwickshire Foster Carers are expected to maintain current competence by attending a minimum of 2 training courses per year once they have gained their skills level. We think it is right that all people working with vulnerable children attend relevant and supportive training.