Training and Support
Fostering Ltd views our Foster Carers as professionals and as such, we provide a comprehensive training and support package. Fostering is a difficult and demanding career so this is reflected in the weekly allowance you will be given when you have a child in placement.
Dependent on the needs of the child and the type of placement you provide, the weekly allowances vary between £380 - £650 per child per week.
Your fostering allowance comprises of a professional fee and a child care allowance. The professional fee is the proportion of allowance that is paid for your time, almost like a wage; the rest is intended to cover the costs of caring for a child including:
- Clothing, including school uniform
- Household utility bills and insurance
- Cost of business insurance on any vehicles
- Hobbies/activities the child wishes to follow
As a Foster Carer/s you will be classed as self-employed and will be responsible for arranging your own tax and National Insurance contributions. You may also be entitled to tax relief on your fostering income. The tax relief you’ll receive depends on your financial circumstances and you will need to complete a tax return.
HMRC has also created a dedicated Foster Care eLearning package which offers Foster Carer/s guidance, advice and practical tips relating to tax and National Insurance
Fostering Ltd places a great emphasis on foster carers attending regular training to ensure your skills and knowledge stay up to date. There are seven post-approval mandatory training courses that all carers are expected to attend:
- Safeguarding and Child Protection
- Safe Caring
- Internet and Online Safety
- First Aid
- Behaviour Management
- Food Hygiene
- Record Keeping
The first mandatory training that you will be expected to attend is ‘Skills to Foster’. This will be attended during your assessment and each applicant is required to attend. This course is run over two days and is intended to provide you with a basic awareness and understanding of the fostering role, as well as insight into issues relating to the care of children who are looked after. This will also give you the opportunity to meet other people in assessment, listen to the stories and experiences of Foster Carer/s. The Skills to Foster course is part of the assessment process so attendance is a pre-approval requirement.
The Skills to Foster training days covers the following areas;
- Roles and responsibilities of foster carers
- Child development
- Working with birth families
- Structure of Fostering Ltd
- Risk assessment’s
- Legal context of children in foster care
- Safer caring
- Needs of children in foster care
- Attachment and loss
- Managing challenging behavior
- The placement process and finance matters
Once approved, it is expected that at least one carer (if a joint application) will attend regular training, approximately once per month. Our training schedule is broad and covers topics such as:
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health
- Children’s Rights
- Child Sexual Exploitation
- Drug and Alcohol Awareness
- ADHD an ADD
- The effects of abuse and Neglect
- Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- Working with children with sexually harmful behavior
- Working with children and young people who self-harm
We understand that foster carers cannot offer excellent care without the support of their agency; children have the best outcomes when all professionals involved in thir care work together, rather than in isolation of each other. With this in mind, Fostering Ltd has a comprehensive support package which includes:
- 24/7 Telephone support - Offering honest, consistent advice and support. This is staffed by our team so no matter when you ring, there will be a familiar voice on the end of the phone.
- Monthly Supervision – your SSW will visit you at home at least once per month to discuss progress, training needs, emotional impact and any queries you may have
- Regular phone calls – in addition to regular home visits we also make regular phone calls to ensure communication stays open and you have someone to talk to
- Home visits on request – we appreciate that sometimes you may need face-to-face support at short notice; we will always arrange to visit your home within 72 hours of you requesting a visit. This ensures that you receive support when it is needed most
- Membership to Fostering Network and FosterTalk – These are specialist fostering organisations that offer advice and support to carers regarding finance, legal matters, support through allegations and a confidential support line
- Mentoring Scheme – we encourage all new carers to speak with experienced carers as well as seeking support from the agency.
- Foster Carer Coffee Mornings – a chance for carers to meet with each other and agency staff
- Foster Carer Newsletter – making sure you keep up to date with goings on at Fostering Ltd
- Bi-annual Fostering Ltd trips – these are social events that the whole family are invited to; summer picnics, ice skating, tubing, Christmas parties and carer restaurant visits to name a few!