Training and Support
All of our Foster Carers receive comprehensive training and continuous support from our Empower Fostering team.
Our comprehensive training program is tailored to meet the demanding needs of caring for young people who have had a difficult start in life.
Foster Carer Training
Once your Foster Carer application has been accepted, you'll be invited to join our 'Skills to Foster' course. This course includes two days of in-person training alongside our experienced staff. We will also look at you attending six workshops designed to provide you with all the tools you require to become a confident & competent Foster Carer. Here you will have the opportunity to meet members of our team plus carers who are already fostering for Empower Fostering.
You'll learn about what's really involved in looking after young people in care and have the opportunity to learn with others who are also applying to foster. This is a comprehensive course, and you'll need to be prepared to complete some home-studies and attend all required training.
Some people find this a challenge, especially if you are still working. However, we must be satisfied that are you appropriately prepared to care for our young people. You, in turn, will feel better equipped and confident.
Training and Development Standards
Once you have been approved as a Foster Carer, you'll need to complete the Training and Development Standards (TSD) for Foster Carers during the first twelve months. In addition, we'll ask you to complete some essential courses such as child protection, safe care, managing risk, equality and diversity, impulsive behavior and administering medication.
Additional Training Requirements
In addition, your local team will produce an annual training program to meet your needs. This usually includes courses such as 'understanding attachment', 'drug and alcohol use', 'e-safety', 'managing behavior' and 'working with teenagers'.
There are many learning opportunities, and we will help you balance any time spent on training with the demands of caring for a young person. People learn better when they enjoy the training and when it is directly related to the job of fostering, so we endeavor to use variety of trainers with considerable experience and expertise in their chosen field.
We know fostering can be a demanding role. Caring for young people who've experienced trauma requires resilience, stability and good support. Here at Empower Fostering, we offer the appropriate level of support you need, when you need it. Our support teams consist of highly skilled, fully qualified social workers, experienced managers and everyone you will meet at our local office. You may need us a little, you may need us a lot. We're always here to support you by providing:
A competitive weekly Foster Carer allowance.
14 days paid holiday (respite) per year, so you can rest from fostering.
Training in all aspects of looking after troubled young people and specific opportunities to develop your skills and specialist interests.
Regular workshops to keep your knowledge up to date.
Phone calls and visits from your dedicated social worker as regularly as needed.
Fortnightly supervision with your social worker - giving you special time to think about your role without interuptions.
Monthly support meetings with a small group of like-minded people and your social worker.
Family outings and social events for all Foster Carers, young people and employees in the family to make sure we stay as one family.
A network of Foster Carers supporting each other.
Support from Social Work Assistants if the going gets tough.
Out of hours Service - Access to a social worker who knows about you and your placement, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
A culture of listening to you, learning from experience, and developing the right service for our carers.
Most importantly, the opportunity to be valued and recongised for your contribution to supporting young people and to foster a small, local, friendly and professional agency dedicated to working alongside you.
Can I foster if I am single?Yes, of course you can. Anyone can foster as long as they are able to demonstrate that they have the skills and capacity to care for a child. You need to be resilient, kind and have a support network around you.
How long does it take to become a Foster Carer?The length of time for assessments varies depending on individual circumstances. However, we complete assessments within three to five months on average.
Do I have to have a spare room?Yes, you do need to have a spare room. All children must have a room of their own unless they are a sibling group and the social worker agrees that they can share a room.
I am over 60 can I still apply?We welcome applications from individuals of any age and there is no upper age limit! Everyone who applies will have a medical with their GP and as long as you are physically and emotionally fit enough to support a child/young people, then age is not an issue.
I have a criminal record can I still foster?It's important that you let us know about any criminal records you may have. A previous conviction will not necessarily preclude you from fostering. Much will depend on the nature of the offence and when it occurred. We will carry out an enhanced DBS check on everyone who applied and would ask that you are open and honest from the start with any convictions. This way we can assess whether you can continue on the assessment journey.
What training will I receive?We have a full and varied training program. Some of this is online and some face to face. As part of your assessment we will run workshops on top of your 'Skills to Foster' course. Again, these will be both face to face and virtual depending on the need at the time. We will try to be flexible and ensure that this fits around your life and young people. We are here to support you with your training.
What Support can I get?When you become an approved Foster Carer with Empower Fostering, you will be allocated a supervising social worker to meet with you once a fortnight to discuss how the child/young person is progressing. You will also be able to speak to a team member seven days a week, 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. In addition, there are support meetings with other Foster Carers in your area.
What training and learning opportunities are available?After completing your 'Skills to Foster' course and becoming an approved carer, there will be planned learning opportunities available throughout the year, covering topics such as 'keeping children safe', 'managing behavior', 'developing self-esteem in children' and 'promoting good health'.
How do I become a Foster Carer?You will receive advice and information from one of our team members during your initial phone contact. When you are ready, you will be assigned a dedicated assessor who will visit you and assist you throughout the process. A referee, medical, and DBS check will be done, and you will be asked to undergo a 'Skills to Foster' training session. The assessment procedure typically takes 4-6 months.
What Happens at an Initial Home Visit?One of our team members will visit your house for a casual talk on looking after small children and young people. We'll discuss the process of becoming a Foster Carer, offer book and research recommendations, and go over your responsibilities as a Foster Carer.
How do you match a child or young person with Foster Carers?We carefully match Foster Carers with children. During the assessment process, we will get a better understanding of what would work for you and your home, which will help us make the right matches.
Do I have any say in the child or young person placed with me?Yes. The matching process is fundamental for you and the child or young person. We will match the needs and requirements of the child or young person with what you can offer. This will be discussed with you in-depth during your assessment.
Can you foster if you are in debt?If you have debt, you are not necessarily disqualified to foster. This would be examined during the fostering assessment and approval process because each person's circumstance differs. Do not be worried that your debt will prevent you from becoming a Foster Carer. To learn more, get in touch with us for a completely private and informal chat.
Can I get a mortgage as a Foster Carer?Yes! There are several mortgage lenders that will allow you use your entire fostering income, and there are even specific mortgage lenders and products made only for foster carers.
Can you be a Foster Carer if you live in affordable housing?Certainly, being a resident of affordable housing does not stop you from wishing to foster.
Do you get paid per family or per child when fostering?Typically, the foster allowance is determined by how many children or young people you are looking after.
01823 756 100 | email@example.com
Unit 2 Prockters Farm Offices, West Monkton, Taunton Somerset, TA2 8QN