As an agency that prides itself on ‘Putting Children’s Futures First,’ we continually seek ways to strengthen the support package we provide to foster carers in order to meet the needs of the children and young people in their care. In 2018 we launched a psychological support service with John Sands, a clinical psychologist whose work is underpinned by attachment and resilience theories, in order to provide support to carers and staff that will enable them to individually tailor care for children and provide an opportunity for them to recover from their early traumatic experiences.
John Sands discusses the importance of this support…
'Why is it important for a fostering agency to offer psychological support?'
"Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory and knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing and relieving psychologically based distress. Clinical psychologists have been central to the understanding and development of attachment theory, and to the application of clinic practice to lessen attachment insecurities.
The majority of children and young people looked after by foster carers usually arrive in care with significant attachment insecurities. This can make a relationship with their foster carer/s feel unsafe to them, and the strategies they adopt to try and make themselves feel safer are often those behaviours that carers find challenging.
Clinical psychologists can work with all parts of the care system, from child to foster carers, social workers and the rest of the support network. The aim of such work is to lessen insecurities, strengthen relationships and ultimately reduce disruption in the home. The stability of the fostering placement is recognised as a critical factor in improving outcomes for children and young people in care.
The inclusion of clinical psychology in support offered by fostering agencies like Team Fostering can complement the knowledge and skills already present, adding significant value to the care offered by foster carers. This can considerably improve the emotional health and outcomes for some of our most vulnerable children and young people."
Team Fostering is a not-for-profit fostering agency. Operating in this way allows the agency to provide a multitude of support services, training opportunities and competitive fees and allowances. The implementation of our Psychological Support Service has been extremely well-received by foster carers, who value the workshops and consultations that John is providing. We look forward to continuing our work with John.
If you are interested in fostering, we would love to hear from you. This psychological support is just one of our initiatives that is not offered by all other fostering agencies.
You can speak to us about training to become a foster carer, or transferring to us as a current foster carer, in the following ways: