As a Kent County Council foster carer, you’ll be supported with all the skills and training you need to really make a difference to children’s lives. We have a stages of development pathway for all our foster carers, with many different training opportunities. Many of our carers choose to access our specialist training programme as well as our day courses, and we also offer eLearning courses to suit everyone’s needs. Alongside all this, we also offer Diploma Level 3 and 4 courses which enable you to gain professional qualifications.
You will be able to access training on a range of subjects, which will equip you to provide first class care and support to the children you are looking after.
Alongside our day courses, we also offer training programmes such as Fostering Changes, Non-Violent Resistance Training and a Reflective Fostering Programme, which all help you in the day to day support of children living in your home.
We hold conferences each year and invite key speakers to deliver talks on their chosen field. This is a great joint training opportunity for carers and social work staff.
After being approved as a foster carer, you will complete the Skills to Foster training.
You will complete the year 1 core training, which includes:
- Safe Care
- Introduction to Attachment
- Record Keeping
- eLearning Safeguarding against Radicalisation the Prevent Duty
- eLearning Child Protection.
You will complete the year 2 core training, which includes:
- Child Development
- Allegations Made Against Foster Carers and how to Safeguard Against These
- eLearning Child Sexual Exploitation
- an additional optional training course (either virtually or face to face).
Alternatively, you can complete the modules above as 2 eLearning courses.
Year 3 and onwards
In year 3, you can complete either of the following:
- 3 training courses (either virtually or face to face)
- 3 eLearning courses.
All carers have to complete the following courses:
- Safeguarding against Radicalisation the Prevent Duty (eLearning)
- Safe Care training (eLearning, virtual or classroom).
Main carers also have to complete our Understanding Trauma course.
Additional face to face courses are available, including:
- Life Story
- Managing Challenging Behaviour
- First Aid
- Supporting Anxious Children
- Adverse Experiences and Attachment
- Basic Awareness of Autism
- Understanding ADHD
- Autistic Girls and Masking
- Understanding Sensory Processing
- Autism and Anxiety
- Meltdowns and Shutdowns
- Speak and Language
- Drugs and Alcohol Awareness
- Honesty Trust and Lies
- Eating Problems
- The Incredible Teenage Brain
- Contact and Family Time
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Awareness and Inclusion
- Street Based Gangs
- Assessing and Managing Risk
- Loss and Grief
- The Importance of Self Care and Interconnectiveness
- Preparing for Independence
- Moving In and Moving On
- Equality and Diversity
- Faith Matters
- Mental Health Awareness
- Domestic Abuse.
After completing 2 years with us as a foster carer you can apply to complete a Level 3 Diploma - Advanced Skills in Foster Care, which provides a comprehensive practice base for foster carers, focusing on child development issues of attachment and trauma and team working.
Once you have completed the Level 3 Diploma, you can apply to complete the Level 4 Advanced Diploma in expert Practice in Working with Traumatised Children, which enables you to learn valuable skills and develop expertise within this field whilst continuing your continuous personal development.
The other specialist training programmes on offer are:
Reflective Fostering Programme (RFP)
Duration: 12 weeks
The RFP is a new programme, developed by staff at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF), to support foster carers of children aged between 4 and 13 years old. It has a particular focus on strengthening the relationship between foster carers and the child(ren) in their care.
The RFP teaches a child about their emotions, how to recognise them and then how to control them (emotion regulation). reflective fostering involves seeing your child's behaviour from the inside as well as the outside, while paying attention to your own thoughts and feelings as a foster carer. Find out more about the programme on the Anna Freud website.