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Training & Development


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Training & Development

Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency will train Foster carers in accordance with the current legislative requirement in response to the carer's own development needs and alongside the needs of the looked after children that are approved for.

Training is split in to three levels: 

 

Pre-Approval Training

All prospective foster carers will be required to undertake the 3-day “skills to foster” preparation training. The training provides pre-approval applicants with the tools they need in order to meet the challenges and provide the support which fostered children and young people need to thrive. The course clearly presents, explains and reinforces the care elements of foster care, focusing on the practical day by day skills and abilities required to begin a career in fostering.

 

Post Approval Training

Once a foster carer has been approved, it is important to ensure that their training and development needs continue to be met. The skills needed to become a successful and experienced foster carer are vast and it can be daunting when first starting your career in fostering. However Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency will deliver training in a gradual and sustained manner to help you in your role. Further training will include first aid, child protection, behavioural management, substance abuse, family links, separation and loss, educational support, communicating with children, working with children who have been sexually abused, valuing diversity and leaving care to name a few examples from the programme. Post approval training will also aim to consolidate knowledge gained with the actual experience of carers from children who have lived in their households.

 

 

Specialist Training

Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency is committed to ensuring the ongoing professional development of its experienced carers. Carers can suggest courses or request funding for specific courses they may have seen advertised. We will run courses aimed at meeting the need of this group of carers.

Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency has links with specialist organisations and individuals who can provide a range of training activities to meet specific needs or to increase knowledge in specific area. Examples of these courses are, working with sex offenders, remand fostering, working with fire settings, working with severely abused children and specialist courses designed to equip carers with the skills to work with children with disabilities. Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency will provide all training in line with the aims, objectives and guidance of the Training, Support and Development (TSD) standards.

This list is not exhaustive and the above courses are a select few which are available.

Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency will also provide more detailed and specialist training where there is an identified need for the carers training profiles or a specific need to assist with supporting a placement.

Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency will provide all training in line with the aims, objectives and guidance of the Training, Support and Development Standards (TSD)

Foster carers and social workers will attend joint training sessions wherever this is feasible

The training provided will be regularly reviewed and appraised to ensure it meets the needs of those for whom it is aimed at.
All of Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency training and development will be delivered within a framework of valuing and respecting diversity, equal opportunity and anti-discrimination.

Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency is committed to making all training as accessible as possible and therefore will provide training venues and times to maximise carer attendance. This may include day and evening courses as well as at weekends.

Training will be delivered in groups or on a one to one basis. The agency will place its yearly training plans on its web site.

All carers are encouraged to identify their own training and development needs and discuss them during their formal supervision process mid-year reviews, annual review and their personal development portfolio.

Aims:

  • To improve knowledge and develop skills to enable carers to undertake their roles with greater competence
  • To ensure that all Bridging Gaps carers are skilled and confident in protecting children and in practising safe caring
  • To establish a clear Bridging Gaps values framework within which all carers and staff work and which promotes equality of opportunity and valuing diversity.
  • To ensure the quality standards of the agency.


Once the applicant’s progress and are approved they will be issued with a copy of their Foster Carers handbook. This contains essential and relevant information which conforms to current legislation, good practice and sets the standards which the agency expects from its carers. This material will be referred to throughout training and provides carers with the ability to undertake home study.

The handbook also has a selection where the carers are to keep records of the training they have attended and to keep course handouts for future reference. It is essential that this information is maintained to a good standard as it will provide evidence of competencies to help them complete their TSD Training and any future training they may wish to peruse.

 

Pathway Training Courses

Online pathway training is for newly approved Foster carers to enable them to complete training courses that will give them the knowledge and skills to support them in fostering.

These are basic online courses that cover day to day issues such as ‘Safe Caring’ and ‘Behaviour’. These courses provide newly approved Foster carers with an insight into what their new fostering roles will include.

These courses can be completed in Foster carers own time – on a flexible basis to allow Foster carers to balance their new fostering role, their day to day life and their development.

 

Pace Training (Parents against child Sexual Exploitation)

We have recently teamed up with Pace to commission training related to Child Sexual Exploitation.

Pace provided specialist training about Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) for professionals from a variety of agencies, both statutory and voluntary.

 

Life Coaching

 We have commissioned a life coaching programme as part of a developmental programme for our foster carers. Topics are based around ‘The National Fostering Changes Programme’ and range from improving performance to building self-confidence.

All foster carers are offered 3 one to one sessions to start and further sessions as required.