Foster carer training
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All Fostering Service Providers are expected to ensure that foster carers are trained in the skills required to provide high quality care and meet the needs of each child or young person placed in their care.
As a foster carer, you are expected to attend all relevant training. This will include:
- Pre-approval training – Skills to Foster,
- Induction training – Working in Partnerships,
- Ongoing core training – Safe Caring.
You should also be provided with the opportunity to attend:
- Ongoing specialist training – Men who Foster, Working with Challenging Behaviour,
- Professional vocational training – NVQ level 3.
If there are two adults in the household approved as foster carers you are both expected to complete the relevant training.
Fostering Service Providers will usually organise training to facilitate your attendance so this may take place in the evening or at weekends.
The Training, Support and Development Standards (TSD)
In England, all foster carers are required to complete the Training Support and Development Standards within 12 to 18 months of becoming approved as a foster carer.
Following the closure of the Children’s Workforce Development Council in April 2012, responsibility for the training, support and development of foster carers passed to the Department for Education. This includes the TSD standards for foster carers, including online resources, such as training materials and case studies, and the TSD workbooks.
The Training, Support and Development (TSD) standards form part of a foster carer’s induction in the role. They provide a national minimum benchmark that sets out what foster carers should know, understand and be able to do within the first 12-18 months after being approved. You can present your evidence in a range of ways. The most important thing is that you evidence all of the standards under each of the headings.
The TSD standards are used as Ofsted inspection criteria and in 2011 they became part of the National Minimum Standards too. Supervisors play a key role helping foster carers complete the TSD standards within the required timescales. All approved foster carers in England must complete the TSD standards.
Foster carers may be unsure of what’s expected of them and sometimes feel overwhelmed, especially if they’ve not undertaken any qualifications in recent years. There are a lot of useful case studies and examples on line, and your fostering service may set up a group for foster carers completing their workbooks. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Family and friends carers (kinship carers)
As family and friends (kinship) carers, you may often take care of children at short notice and in difficult circumstances, therefore the deadline for them to complete the standards has been extended. Those who are new to fostering a family member or a friend’s child have up to 18 months to complete the standards.
A shorter version of the TSD standards workbook is available to use with family and friends (kinship) carers. This may also be used with Support Carers.
If you’re a foster carer about to start the TSD standards, or you’d like help completing the workbook, talk to your supervising social worker who will be able to support and guide you. The TSD standards workbook takes you through each section of the standards.