Children and young people are in care because of their family situation. Foster carers look after children so that families have time to sort out their difficulties such as illness or family stress, but sadly, many foster children will have suffered abuse or neglect at some point in their lives.
Foster carers make a big difference to a child’s life. Fostering will help a child learn, grow and develop. Children will always remember and value the best care they receive. That makes fostering one of the most rewarding jobs you can do.
It is important that the Council gives foster carers the support that they need. This includes access to a wide choice of training opportunities in order to enhance their existing skills. This training helps foster carers to better understand the needs of child and importantly how to address those needs.
Why we needed to change
When foster carers complete their compulsory training it is important to help them continue with their professional development. This can be challenging for foster carers as often the best time to received additional support is during school hours.
- We involved other professionals, including work force development, the pathway team, the virtual school and Barnardos to help enhance our existing in house training.
- We found a way to enable foster carers to take advantage of continuous professional development and to work towards a recognised qualification (Level 3 Diploma).
- As foster carers complete their induction work book they now have the choice to enrol for the level 3 diploma.
- This is available free of charge to our foster carers.
Difference it made to the Council
- The training has given foster carers a better understanding of the support that is in place for them.
- Foster carers have a better understanding of the policies and procedures including safeguarding procedures and how to access them.
- By focusing on how important skill development is to the Council, it helps the foster carers feel valued and be a vital part of the team around the child.
Difference it made to local people
Janet and Bob started fostering over 20 years ago. At first they cared for babies and young children, but in the early 1990s, a Calderdale Council advert asking for people to care for young offenders changed their lives.
Since then, they have exclusively fostered teenagers, some of whom are young offenders who are remanded by the courts.
"We get constant support and advice from individual link workers in the Council’s fostering team, and they’re great at responding to any questions we ask – from the simplest queries to the more challenging issues. They always go the extra mile to help us and the teenagers in care."
"We also go on lots of training courses provided by the Council. Even though we’ve been fostering for over 20 years, it’s a constant learning experience."