Ongoing learning and development are vital for foster carers to ensure they remain up to date with fostering practices and to ensure they have the skills to look after the children in their care. The Fostering Network offers publications and access to training courses, supporting foster carers with their learning and development.
The Fostering Network’s The Skills to Foster training is the pre-approval course used by fostering services to equip foster carers with the skills and knowledge to care for fostered children. Training is an ongoing process, and as the needs of children change and evolve, alongside changes to policies and legislation, foster carers need to have a clear plan for continuing their professional development.
Foster carers in England have to achieve the Training, Support and Development standards within 12 to 18 months of being approved as a foster carer. They will also be given a clear continuing professional development plan to further their skills and knowledge of fostering and ability to care for looked after children.
In Wales, The Care Council’s Induction Framework for Foster Care and Short Break Care is designed to provide a structured introduction to work as a foster carer or short break carer. The Scottish Government is seeking to develop a learning and development framework and has clear outlines for training and support expectations for foster carers in Scotland within the legislation.
Read our policy on learning and development for foster carers.
The Fostering Network’s training
The Fostering Network also publishes a comprehensive range of guides and other books to support foster carers as they develop their skills and knowledge. See our fostering resources website for more details.
Support for fostering services
A number of The Fostering Network’s training courses can also be delivered to fostering services in-house for a cost-effective way of maximising the learning foster carers receive. Our training managers work closely with fostering services to set a programme, which meets the needs of their foster carers, adapting the course content to their own policies, procedures and guidelines.
Our member helplines provide confidential and impartial advice to foster carers in the UK.
Our online community
Our members also have exclusive access to our online community where you can log in to share your experience and get advice from other foster carers. The community is a safe and secure area to discuss topics including being a foster carer and looking after a child, as well as advice on finances.