Our Support

We are here for you, every step of the way through your fostering journey.

Our Support

We are here for you, every step of the way through your fostering journey.

We know that ongoing training and support is vital for any successful fostering placement.

 

As well as the support that starts as soon as you contact us, to guide you through your enquiry and assessment, we are committed to offering ongoing training and support throughout your fostering journey with us. In 2024, we are at the start of the Foster Care Matters journey and so we are building some of the support offers detailed below  – we’d love you to help us build, develop and join us on our journey.

Training and development will continue throughout your fostering journey. Foster parents, just like all parents and professionals who work with children and young people, are continually learning, developing, and learning new techniques, from new research and studies.

We offer a wide range of training opportunities with a rolling programme of courses on offer to you through our wide network
of training providers and partners. You may also identify areas of learning that may interest you and help you with the fostering task and we ask our foster parents to feedback to us to help develop our future training programmes.

 

During your fostering assessment:

 

Allocated Assessing Social Worker

You will be allocated your own named assessing social worker who will be with you throughout your assessment journey. Our experienced team of social workers will guide you through the assessment process and be there to support you, answering any queries along the way. There is no such thing as a silly question and we aim to complete your assessment within 4-6  months.

Therapeutic Preparation to Foster Training – 4 days

An essential part of your journey to becoming a foster parent is our Therapeutic Preparation to Foster training course. This training is a mandatory part of your assessment process; if you have a partner living with you, you’ll both need to complete the course. We also welcome and encourage adult children that are living with you to attend. The course is held over 4 days at a venue in the North West and is designed to give you an introduction to fostering and therapeutic parenting.

Led by one of our experienced Therapeutic Social Workers, the course helps you to understand the needs of the children in care and looks at some of the necessary skills and knowledge needed to enable you to foster, keep the children in your care safe and help them thrive.

Once you are an approved foster parent, our support offer includes:

Regular supervision

From your own Supervising Social Worker, monthly. This is
tailored to each foster family and situation, if you need us more,
we are flexible but this is our minimum offer to all new foster
parents approved.

Induction training

Once you are approved as a foster parent and during your first year, there are then a number of topics that will be covered in your induction training, this will include:

• Safeguarding Children
• Health and Safety
• Paediatric First Aid
• Fire Safety
• Equality & Diversity and Cultural Competence
• Handling Medication
• De-Escalation Training
• Positive Behaviour Support
• Child Development
• Fire Safety

24/7, 365 days a year cover

We are here, when you need us. At the end of the phone, a video call or a home visit, there will be an experienced social worker, trained in therapeutic parenting, on out-of-hours call, evenings and weekends, 365 days a year.

• Reporting & Recording
• Risk Management & Safer Caring
• GDPR & Data Protection for Foster Carers
• Allegations & Concerns
• Child Care Legislation
• Child Sexual Exploitation
• Internet Safety
• Taking Care of Yourself and Each Other
• Child Care Legislation

Our families advise that the training they receive is just one of the benefits of becoming a foster parent with Foster Care Matters and gives them great additional insight and knowledge into a wide
range of topics.

Monthly Therapeutic Parenting Training sessions 10 months of the year

At Foster Care Matters we know that using therapeutic parenting techniques can support children to begin to recover from their previous trauma, manage their anxiety and achieve their potential in life.  Our Centre for Fostering and Adoption Support has vast experience of supporting adopters over the years to develop their parenting in ways that supports children most effectively who have suffered past trauma and loss.  They will provide a therapeutic parenting programme  when foster parents are newly approved and monthly support sessions on therapeutic strategies such as The Nurtured Heart, Parenting based on knowledge of brain development and on Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy (PACE), importance of play, techniques such as Theraplay and providing Sensory processing support, etc.  Our therapeutic approach runs through everything we do and is key in helping children to reduce the impact of their ACES, learn how to trust, feel calm enough to access their education and achieve physical and emotional wellbeing as well as achieving their life goals.

 

We will guide you

Please don’t worry or be daunted by the training on offer if you haven’t attended any formal training before or have not attended training for a while. We will guide you through it and you will be together with other prospective foster parents, a mixture of people from all walks of life. Our therapeutic preparing to foster training course is for you and your family to learn as much about the fostering task as possible to make sure you are fully informed and equip you with the skills and knowledge required to care for vulnerable children and young people.

We work to ensure our training courses are inclusive so if you have any hearing, visual, language or literacy needs, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Foster Care Matters Natters Newsletter

All Foster Care Matters foster parents will receive our regular e-newsletter sharing our latest news, events and hopefully some of your stories too! We also hope to develop a Children & Young People Natters Newsletter too.

Foster Talk Membership

As a Foster Care Matters foster parent, you will have full membership to FosterTalk giving you access to their network of experts, and allowing you to join their 40,000+ foster parent community.
Some of the benefits include:

• Fostering & SGO Helpline
• Legal Insurance
• 24/7 Legal Helpline, Counselling Service and Medical Helpline
• Tax Benefits & NI Advice
• Free Online Events & Members Magazine & Newsletter

As we grow our Foster Care Matters Family and welcome more foster parents to our charity, we will enhance our support offer to include:

Sleepover care

All Foster Care Matters foster parents will have 16 sleepover care nights every year. Sleepover care is often referred to as respite care. We know that sometimes, foster parents may need regular breaks to support them in their role.

Sleepover care can prove helpful in supporting fostering families that care for children with a range of needs. We will look at your own support networks during assessment and discuss sleepover care arrangements with you. With all of our work, we will make sure that all sleepover care plans are in the best interests of the child or young person.

At the start of our Foster Care Matters journey, whilst we build our Foster Care Matters family, we may not be able to offer sleepover care with other registered foster parents so we may look at your inhouse support network, but will discuss this with you.

 

Peer support

Regular support groups with other foster parents and our experienced team. Get together to hear all the latest updates in fostering and a chance for a catch up with other foster parents. Whilst we grow the Foster Care Matters family in 2024, we want to develop this with you, our new foster parents.

Social events and activities

Fun events to suit our foster parents and the children and young people in your care. Whilst we grow the Foster Care Matters family in 2024, we want to develop this with you and will ask for your feedback on what to include in our social calendar to support you and the children and young people in your care, we hope to develop a social calendar that suits everyone’s needs.

Some of our events offered by our Centre for Fostering and Adoption Support have included forest school sessions, therapeutic horse riding and pony grooming, rock climbing sessions, and a children and young people choir – to name a few.

Our Centre for Fostering & Adoption Support (CfAS)

As an approved Foster Care Matters foster parent, you will have access to the Centre for Fostering and Adoption Support. This is a well-established service supporting adoption, permanency and fostering. The centre was founded in 2014 initially supporting adopters, adopted adults and birth families and expanded to meet the needs of permanency through kinship, foster care and special guardianship in 2019.

At the Centre for Fostering and Adoption Support in 2022-23:

 

• 823 people enrolled on one of the webinars
• 45 children attended one of the regular groups
• 155 families received support packages
• 82 sensory packages were delivered to families
• 83 schools received support from the team
• 216 contracts were delivered by the Therapy Service

The Centre for Fostering Adoption Support has a multi-disciplined team, including therapeutic social workers, occupational therapists, and therapists, offering a range of services for adopters, foster parents, special guardians, kinship carers, care experienced children, young people and adopted adults. As an approved Foster Care Matters foster parent, you can also access a range of online training videos, titles include:

• Neurodiversity and Autism
• Sensory Modulation
• Parenting with PACE
• Sleep issues

You will also have access to the live monthly
calendar of webinars, titles include:

• Self-esteem and well-being
• Parenting siblings
• Resilience
• Sensory processing
• Parenting teenagers
• Attachment and education

The Centre offers a variety of groups and activities for children
and young people and we are developing groups for foster families.

 

Our parent charity, Adoption Matters, also have their own in-house therapy service that provides a personalised therapeutic intervention based on a structured assessment and can work in partnership with local authorities’ on bespoke packages of support.

Foster Care Matters Natters

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