Learning and Development
Once you become an approved foster carer, there are monthly training sessions, which include subjects on child-related matters such as child protection, recording skills and drug awareness.
Fostering is increasingly being seen as a profession and all foster carers will need to acquire the CWDC qualification. This is the national standard for all carers, irrespective of who you foster with. Some people find this daunting but please don’t be put off. You will be doing most of the work already in your role as a foster carer and it is an opportunity to gain a valuable qualification.
There is also a comprehensive training programme available, which covers all ages and aspects of fostering children and young people. Your supervising social worker will identify any training that will help you in your current placement, or will contribute to you developing a specialist role e.g. working with mothers and babies.
Each foster carer has a training profile, which documents all the courses attended. At each course there is also an opportunity to record what you have learnt. This information can be used at a later date towards the NVQ, Caring for Children and Young People, Level 3.
If you feel that there is a specific area of work or issue you want to know about, please contact your supervising social worker. If they identify a course that is not available through Fostering Support Group, every effort will be made to find an appropriate course with an external training agency.
‘Caring for Children and Young People’ NVQ Level 3
This award is a nationally recognised qualification for those working in a variety of settings within the childcare field. Equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practice is central to NVQ and the course builds on the everyday work you are doing as a foster carer. An NVQ ‘Level 3’ award is for work that demands competence in a broad range of work activities, and assesses the work of foster carers against a national set of standards. All assessments are undertaken in the workplace, which in the case of foster carers is their own home. It is hoped that all foster carers will eventually obtain an NVQ Level 3 in childcare.
There is no pass or fail for an NVQ. If evidence is presented, the carer is assessed as competent. If not, they would be assessed as not yet competent, meaning they may need extra study, experience or training in order to reach the required standard. All of the training provided by Fostering Support Group is linked to NVQ units.
If you are interested in undertaking an NVQ or have completed the qualification and would like to become an assessor, please contact your supervising social worker. FSG will also pay for foster carers to attend their local college to undertake this training.
Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC)
The Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care have been developed by the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) to ensure that all foster carers receive the relevant induction, training and support, and continual professional development.
The Standards set out clearly what foster carers should know, understand and be able to do. All foster carers are expected to work towards the Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care within 12 months of approval, and will be provided a Workbook to enable foster carers to evidence the Standards. Joint foster carers are each required to contribute to one Workbook.