Support and Training for Foster Carers
Being a foster carer is very rewarding and can make a huge difference to a child or young person's life, but it also have its challenges. Children's Social Care recognises the issues before you and offer a comprehensive training package to support you in this task.
We are committed to offering you the support to help and encourage you to provide a high standard of care for the children you will be looking after and to build on the skills you learn along the way.
Support from social workers
Just as each child who is looked after has their own social worker, you too will have a fostering social worker to support you.
In Children’s Social Care we encourage all our foster carers to utilise as much support as they can get, whether this is through informal links, for example, extended family and friends, to more professional support.
We also encourage all our foster carers to make use of support groups through a fostering forum and professional support from a psychotherapist who runs a support group and is available for individual telephone consultations. Such meetings offer the opportunity to network with other foster carers, to share ideas and experiences and celebrate your achievements. We run monthly coffee mornings which carers can also attend.
Out of hours support
If you need advice outside of office hours, you can contact the Emergency Social Work Team. If there is an occasion when you need a break from looking after children, we can provide help through our sessional worker service or from other foster carers who may be able to provide some respite.
Learning and development
Good training and development is an essential element of our support to you. We offer a comprehensive package to enhance your skills to help children through difficult times and as you develop your career in fostering this learning will be an ongoing process.
Fostering Network membership
As a Milton Keynes Council foster carer you will automatically become a member of The Fostering Network - a national organisation that offers additional support and guidance to help you in your fostering role. Membership entitles you to a quarterly magazine, free information booklets, legal advice and a 24 hour advice line.
Every foster carer receives pre-approval training by attending a Fostering Preparation Course called 'Choosing to Foster'.
The course is designed to provide prospective foster carers with the knowledge and information that they require to gain a more realistic picture of what’s involved in caring for children who are in the care of Milton Keynes Council. The training follows key modules and it is necessary for ALL prospective foster carers to complete the course before they are approved.
During the first year of fostering, foster carer(s) are expected to undertake a number of other core training courses designed to help you with the fostering task. Foster carers will have the opportunity to gain the NVQ Caring for Children and Young People level 3 as you progress through your fostering career.
Children’s Social Care always endeavours to organise training to encourage and facilitate foster carers attendance and as such organises training around convenient times, venues and provision of child care (as appropriate).
If you are already a Foster Carer, please visit the Foster Carer Secure Room for further training details.
Last Updated: 18 July 2018