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Training and Professional Development

It is really important that foster carers are offered the right training to help understand children and support them in the best possible way to enhance their life chances. When you foster for Warwickshire, you will find the training offer supportive of the tasks we ask you to undertake. We have a range of options to suit you, including live and virtual training and online programmes; some courses also have a learner led distance learning workbook available. We also hold live sessions run in different locations around the county. 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, so we have made sure there are other options available. We try to run training at times to suit you, for example during school hours. We also offer some weekends and evening courses for those of you that find weekdays difficult.

We are committed to developing new courses to meet the changing needs of foster carers and the children in their care. Our courses are developed by trainers who understand fostering or have specialist knowledge in their field of expertise, for example, we have an in-house clinical psychology team who run several different courses including the therapeutic reparenting course. Our foster carers help deliver some of the programmes and we work with our own care experienced children and young people to help us plan relevant and meaningful training.

We ask all Warwickshire foster carers to keep their knowledge and skills up to date by attending a minimum of 2 training courses per year once they have gained their skills level. In the first 2 years of fostering, most carers do much more than 2 courses a year. We think it is important that people working with children in care keep themselves up to date and continue their professional development. Our Fostering Social Workers are there to guide you through your training needs, during supervision they will discuss with you what training will best support you and how to put learning into practice.

All approved foster carers in the UK must complete their training, support, and develop standards (TSD’s) within 12 months of approval and connected carers have 18 months to complete their standards. We will offer you support to enable you to complete these standards and each of our training sessions will link to some of the areas covered.

There are 2 supportive branches of our training programme

Core training

We offer all 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 need to complete their required core training within 2 years of approval and approved carers should revisit their core training every three years. 

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)
  • Attachments
  • A Child’s Journey Through Care
  • Recording Skills Training for Foster Carers
  • Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Restorative Practice (all workers in Warwickshire children’s services are expected to attend this training)

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 Foster Home Performance Review and training evaluations. Examples of courses on offer include, Therapeutic Reparenting, Adoption Transition, Caring for Teens and Managing Challenging Behaviour Positively to name but a few! 

Foster carer qualifications

Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young Peoples Workforce

Warwickshire’s Foster Care QCF Assessment Centre offers approved foster carers the opportunity to gain a QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework) diploma. We will give you a full induction and the necessary resources to help you complete your qualification. An assessor will support you through your qualification which usually takes between 12 - 18 months. They will carry out observations of you doing normal foster care tasks and help you plan and manage your written work.

This diploma is aimed at those people already working in the children and young people sector such as foster carers. Learners complete different units of work to achieve 65 credits that make up the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce. Mandatory units account for 40 credits and the remaining credits are achieved from the wide range of optional suite of units.

The qualification is really flexible and fits in with the busy life of a foster carer. The evidence is gathered from your day-to-day work and collated in a portfolio. We ask that you spend roughly four hours per week for up to 18 months. You will also need to be able to attend relevant training.