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All of our foster carers receive comprehensive training and continuous support from our Blue Sky team.
Our comprehensive training programme is tailored to meet the demanding needs of caring for young people who have had a difficult start in life.
Once your foster carer application has been accepted, you’ll be invited to join our ‘Skills to Foster’ course (Level 1). This course includes two full days, followed by six workshops. Excellent course materials and our experienced staff will support your learning. Here you'll have an opportunity to meet members of our team plus carers who are already fostering for Blue Sky.
You’ll learn about what’s really involved in looking after young people in care and have the opportunity to learn with others who are also applying to foster. This is a comprehensive course, and you’ll need to be prepared to complete some study at home and attend all the training.
Some people find this a challenge, especially if you are still working. However, we must be satisfied that you are appropriately prepared to care for our young people. You, in turn, will feel better equipped and confident.
The Skills to Foster course will cover the following areas.
What do foster carers do?
The importance of identity and life chances
Working with others in the team
Understanding the needs of young people in foster care
Helping young people to deal with change.
Managing challenging behaviour
Working with young people who display sexualised behaviour.
Working with parents
Survival techniques for foster carers
A young person’s experience of coming into care.
The placement process and finance matters
Preparing for Panel
Your Fostering Agreement
Once you have been approved as a foster carer, you’ll need to complete the Training and Development Standards for foster carers during the first six months. In addition, we’ll ask you to complete some essential courses such as child protection, safe care, managing risk, equality and diversity, impulsive behaviour, and administering medication.
In addition, your local team will produce an annual training programme to meet your needs. This usually includes courses such as ‘understanding attachment’, ‘drug and alcohol use’, 'e-safety', ‘managing behaviour’ and ‘working with teenagers’.
There are many learning opportunities, and we will help you balance any time spent on training with the demands of caring for a young person. People learn better when they enjoy the training and when it is directly related to the job of fostering, so we endeavour to use a variety of trainers with considerable experience and expertise in their chosen field.
We know fostering can be a demanding role. Caring for young people who’ve experienced trauma requires resilience, stability and good support. Here at Blue Sky, we offer the appropriate level of support you need, when you need it. Our support teams consist of highly skilled, fully qualified social workers, our experienced managers and everyone you meet at your local office. You may need us a little. You may need us a lot. We’re always here to support you by providing:
A competitive weekly foster carer allowance
14 days paid holiday (respite) per year, so you can rest from fostering.
Training in all aspects of looking after troubled young people and specific opportunities to develop your skills and specialist interests.
Regular workshops to keep your knowledge up to date.
Phone calls and visits from your dedicated social worker as regularly as needed.
Fortnightly supervision with your social worker – giving you special time to think about your role without interruptions.
Monthly support meetings with a small group of like-minded people and your social worker
Family outings and social events for all foster carers, all young people in the family and employees to make sure we stay one family
A network of foster carers supporting each other
Support from Social Work Assistants if the going gets tough.
Activities and groups for your birth children to ensure they have an opportunity to talk to others in the same situation.
Out of Hours service – access to a social worker who knows about you and your placement, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
A culture of listening to you, learning from experience, and developing the right service for our carers
Most importantly, the opportunity to be valued and recognised for your contribution to supporting young people and to foster a small, local, friendly and professional agency dedicated to working alongside you.
There are lots! Once approved as a foster carer, there are many opportunities to learn more about keeping children safe, managing behaviour, developing self-esteem in children, first aid, and many, many, more!
Once approved as a foster carer, you will be allocated a supervising social worker. They will visit you once a fortnight to discuss your foster child’s progress. In addition to this, members of our team are available for you to speak with at any time, day or night, 365 days a year. There are also regular local foster carer support meetings; a chance for you to meet up with our other foster carers in your area.
Here at Blue Sky Fostering, we offer face-to-face training and also virtual. This will be dependent on your location and the type of training it is. With six offices across the South of England, you shouldn't have to travel too far if you're attending training in person.