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During the assessment you will attend a ‘Preparing to Adopt’ course. It is an informal, nationally recognised, course, based on discussions, exercises and case studies and provides you with the opportunity to learn more about adoption, to explore complex issues and hear from experienced adopters, social workers and other professionals. The course is arranged in different parts of the county at regular times throughout the year and are usually held on three consecutive days. Plus there is an extra course specifically on attachment issues that you should attend.

As part of our on-going support to adopters, a series of training courses is provided once you have been approved and adopted to help you deal with any issues, particularly in relation to attachment.

During your assessment, and throughout your fostering career, you’ll be encouraged to undertake training to help you develop your skills as a foster carer. Take a look at this year’s Training Plan for more information.

Skills to Foster
During your assessment you will attend ‘Skills to Foster’ preparation training that will give you basic information on caring for a foster child. Foster carers and social workers deliver the training and it is a great opportunity to meet other people going through the assessment process.

There are two extra days training on attachment and safer caring that you should attend before your panel date.

National Induction Standards
All foster carers are supported to complete the mandatory National Induction Standards for foster carers during their first year of fostering. The training covers:
• First aid
• How to keep children safe and healthy
• How to predict and respond to certain behaviours
• How to promote education and life-long learning
• How to set boundaries
• How to work in partnership with childcare and youth workers
• Valuing diversity

You receive a bonus payment on successful completion of these standards.

Continuing professional development
We also have an annual programme of training which includes courses on:
• Drug and alcohol abuse
• Sex and relationships for young people in care
• Caring for children who’ve experience abuse or death
• Keeping safe online and on social media

Help and advice on training is available and don’t worry if you haven’t studied for a while – we are here to support you.

A small payment is made to you when you attend training to encourage continual professional development and all travel and child care costs are covered.