Team Fostering is 100% committed to promoting the professionalism of foster care and the continuous professional development of our foster families.
All of our foster parents have access to comprehensive training and other learning/development opportunities, which help in ensuring they are able to develop the necessary skills and knowledge needed to provide the best possible outcomes for children and young people. The agency prides itself in providing an innovative training programme, starting with the initial preparation training that foster parents require in order to become approved carer/s, through to the induction and core training programmes delivered by internal and external training providers who are experts in their field.
In accordance with the National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services 2011 in the first year post-approval all foster parents are also expected to complete ‘The Induction Standards for Foster Care’ (TSDS). The induction standards are designed to demonstrate, develop and maintain professional competence across a range of core skills that are fundamental to fostering and providing care of the highest quality to children/young people with a range complex needs. The Team Fostering induction training programme is mapped against the TSDS and helps foster parents to provide relevant evidence towards completion of the standards.
Our training team is led by Training Manager Gill Voase, who has been with Team Fostering for 17 years. Gill has an extensive knowledge and understanding of the role of a foster parent and of children and young people in care. As a qualified social worker and trainer with experience of working in residential childcare, child protection, fostering and probation services, as well as being a trained nurse, Gill delivers a wide range of training across the agency for foster parents and staff.
To ensure authenticity and to promote the reality of ‘A Lived Experience’ the training team involve former looked after children and experienced foster carers in the development and delivery of the induction and core training programmes.
"Foster carers are provided with a wealth of training available from the agency, and they are clear about their expectations to continually develop in order to meet the often complex and changing needs of the children. The agency supports this with signposting to additional training for foster carers to meet the specific individual needs of the children. "
- Ofsted, March 2023
All foster carers are given their own Personal Development Plan (PDP) which is designed to highlight specific training needs and opportunities. PDP’s are updated annually at foster carers' reviews to reflect current and future training requirements and provide an accurate record of all training and professional development.
Over time, foster carers build their own Training and Learning Portfolio to sit with their PDP. In the portfolio they are expected to collate ongoing evidence of their training and professional development throughout their fostering career. Team Fostering will also tailor a pathway of advanced training opportunities through each Personal Development Plan for foster carers who work within a specialist area of fostering, and for those who wish to progress onto higher level qualifications.
“Team Fostering have brokered training from providers who are competent as well as using staff & carer parents who are eloquent and knowledgeable. It was lovely to have the opportunity to do the level 2 (accredited) training in Counselling earlier this year. This gave me the background to understand the different types of counselling that our young person was about to embark on. It was among the most useful training that I have ever done and as it was delivered or a period of time it enabled you to try out aspects of the work in your own circumstances.”
- A Team Fostering foster carer, 2019