Training offered to foster carers

It is expected that fostering applicants have had at least a cursory look through all of the information on the main pages of the Sparks Fostering website. The pages must be read (or listened to) fully before panel. This ensures that applicants have a basic understanding of the fostering task. 

Following approval, foster carers are required to read the ‘Core’ policies, and are encouraged to attend face to face first aid training and de-escalation training. All of the Sparks Fostering Policies and Procedures are reviewed, and the learning consolidated in supervision meetings. The Core Policies and Procedures are reviewed annually.

It is a regulatory (legal) requirement that foster carers complete the ‘Training, Support, and Development Standards’ within their first year of approval. The supervising social worker supports foster carers in this task. 

Other training courses are provided according to the needs of the children being looked after (e.g. foster carers looking after children with developmental delay will be asked to complete training on that topic). Training may be face to face, online, by reading relevant literature, or by having relevant discussions in supervision. As long as relevant learning can be evidenced, it is considered to be ‘training’ and foster carers must include the details on their foster carer’s training record. 

Foster carers receive a monthly training and events allowance, which they can use towards training courses, purchasing relevant literature, or for costs towards meeting other foster carers or staff, to develop relationships and share learning.

Where there are two foster carers in the home, it is expected that the secondary foster carer has read all of the policies and procedures on the main pages and the core policies and procedures. The secondary foster carer would also be expected to attend at least one training event per year.  

Training providers

The Fostering Network’s State of the Nation report gives an overview of the current issues and challenges in the fostering sector. 

Fostering training is a website which delivers fostering specific training. 

The Inspire Training Group provides training on therapeutic parenting and trauma.