Training for Foster Parents in Scotland

As a foster carer, you will be faced with many challenges and opportunities. At the centre of every placement is the best interests of the child. You need to be confident that you can handle everything that comes your way – and this is why ongoing training is essential!

Why foster qualifications are important

Fostering in the UK started to take shape in the mid-19th Century, in the form that we know it today. A Manchester clergyman removed children from the workhouse and placed them with foster families, who received financial support from local unions, or councils as we know them today.

Over the years, fostering has developed into the professional process that it is today. It is always a question of balance – balancing training and foster qualifications while ensuring that children and young people live in homes filled with care, love and happiness.
As part of the application process, potential foster carers will complete an initial course that looks at issues within fostering, as well as giving potential carers the chance to talk with experienced foster parents.

Ongoing training and qualifications are key. The more foster carers know, the more you can offer the children and young people in your care.

What do foster qualifications and training look like?

 1.    Assessment process
Becoming a foster carer means stepping through an assessment process that ensures you have the skills, attitude and outlook to work with children in need of care outside of their families. There are many reasons why children cannot live with their birth family, some of which are complex.

So, it makes sense that as part of the assessment process, there is a chance to explore many of the issues that crop up during a lifetime of fostering children, some of whom will complex needs.

2.    Specialist training

Once accepted as a foster carer and you begin your fulfilling career making a difference to children’s lives, there are many other training opportunities to explore.
For example, you may offer ‘parent and baby’ placements for young people who are considered to be vulnerable during pregnancy and after birth.
Or you may foster young people with communication issues or offer a home to children who have suffered abuse, physical, emotional and/or sexual.

Knowing how to deal with the behaviours that are symptomatic of these issues is essential for keeping you safe and the child too, while helping them to safely explore their issues.
As a foster carer, you can complete informative training sessions on the protection and safeguarding of children in your care (as well as yourself), as well as understanding self-harm and other mental health issues and illnesses.

Some children struggle to form attachments or when they do, they are inappropriate. With training, you can help a child to form positive relationships that don’t put them at risk.

Staying Safe

The stories children in care have to tell will affect you. You will help them to process past experiences and to find their way in the world, but you also need to be aware of the effect these traumatic stories will have on you.

Individual and group sessions with therapists are a great way of learning and discussing complex issues, but also a chance to share your own thoughts and experiences with others.
You don’t foster alone.

Fostering children and young people is rewarding, but it is not without its challenges. And this is why you don’t foster alone.

With the support of the placement agency, you will find foster qualifications are part of ensuring what you offer a child in your care, is what they need and in the way that they need it.

Visit the Foster Care Associates Scotland website for more information and the training available when becoming a foster carer in Scotland!

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