Foster Carer Support and Training

Foster Carer Support and Training

If you are considering becoming a foster carer for the first time, or are already fostering but looking to transfer, it is more than understandable that one of the most important questions that you may have is “what foster carer support and training is available to me”. Well let us share…

Firstly, we believe wholeheartedly that Foster Carers deserve nothing but the best highest levels of support and training. We absolutely commit to your development as a Foster Carer, as it is through the support and training that we provide to you that we can make the difference every day to children across the West Midlands. That is part of the reason our fostering service was awarded “Outstanding” for our Leadership and Management and “Good” overall from Ofsted. Our aim is to empower you to be best the best Foster Carer you can be, meaning that children in your care are able to achieve positive outcomes and reach their fullest potential.

There are many different areas in which we provide support please see below for more information:

Financial Support

In addition to the weekly fostering fees that we pay our Carers, we also provide additional financial support in order to help you provide your child with the best possible experiences whilst they are with you. We recognise that particularly at the moment when things are becoming tougher any additional financial support can make a big difference. We are pleased to offer all of our fostering households:

  • Annual Birthday grant to help you and your foster child celebrate their big day in style
  • Annual Festival celebration grant – this could be used for Christmas/Eid/Diwali you choose
  • Annual Holiday grant – Because every should have the opportunity to create great new memories
  • Access to a discount portal providing a host of discounts for shopping and entertainment

Professional Support

You may think that we are biased, but we really do believe that our team of Support Staff and Social Workers are just wonderful, I mean that why we hired them right? But when we did hire them we hired them with you and the children that you will be caring for in mind. All of our team are extremely passionate about keeping children safe and ensuing that our Foster Carers are fully enabled and equipped to do what they stepped forward to do.

You will have your own dedicated Social Worker who will be on hand to offer you support, guidance and both emotional and practical help as you tread your journey. You and your Social Worker will speak regularly and they will come and visit you at home at least once per month (this will much more frequent if you are a new Foster Carer whilst you find your feet)

Peer Support Groups

Spending time with other Foster Carers is such a valuable experience. Especially if you are a new to fostering, as they are able to share with you some great pearls of wisdom. As we know how helpful it can be, we encourage our Foster Carers to meet up regularly. We hold Foster Carer Support and Training Groups every two months at F5 HQ in Birmingham. As well as tea, coffee and biscuits, these events usually have a guest speaker too which is specifically chosen to be helpful for our Carers (e.g., Fire department discussing household fire safety).

We also hold celebratory events that can be attended by our Carers, and any children in the homes (fostered or not). Sometimes these events will be held at F5 HQ or may be held elsewhere (recently we took all of our Foster Carers and Children to Drayton Manor Park for the day)

Foster Care Buddy

Not only are our team of staff on hand to support you but so are our experienced Foster Carers. As well as having your own dedicated Social Worker, as newly approved Foster Carers, you are also allocated an experienced Foster Carer as your “Buddy”. Your buddy is there as another level of support on a more personal level, they were once new to fostering and remember well how it felt and how overwhelming it can be at times. They can share with you how they managed those first days and weeks

Out of Hours Support

During Monday – Friday 9:00 – 5:00 you are able to reach out to any of #TeamF5,
however we understand that there may be times outside of these hours where you need to speak to a social worker about urgent concerns. With that in mind we would like to reassure you that we have a 7 day a week Out of Hours service. This starts at 6:00am through till office opening and once the office closes, our out of hours service will continue to run through to 10:00pm. (out of hours is 6:00am through till 10:00am on a weekend) In between these hours you will also have provision to the Emergency Duty Team of the relevant Local Authority (Don’t worry we will make sure you have every number that you will need)

External Support / Foster Talk

There is no such thing as too much support in our eyes, so as well as the above, As an F5 Foster Carer, we will fully fund membership with Foster Talk. As a Foster Talk Member, you can receive free, impartial legal support – at any time of the day or night. Their 24-hour helpline offers fast, professional advice on a range of legal matters from qualified lawyers for you and your entire fostering household. Additionally, you will also be able to benefit from Tax advice, Legal Insurance, access to a discount portal, Counselling and a variety of online seminars and events. Follow this link for more information

Training and Development

If there is one thing you need to be as a Foster Carer, it is a keen learner. Your training and development starts during the assessment process and will continue for as long as you Foster. You will receive extensive training both face to face and online that will provide you with skills, knowledge and strategies that will form the foundation of you provide care to the children in your care.

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