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Skills to Foster

Skills to Foster Course

Skills to Foster (StF), along with all the courses and training provided by Archway Care, is free to every applicant and approved carer.
As part of the assessment process, all prospective foster carers are required to go on StF and complete the related workbook. The course has been designed by The Fostering Network but is organised and run by Archway Care staff. It is held regularly throughout the year and has an informal atmosphere to ensure everyone is at ease. This is what StF covers:

Session 1 – What Do Foster Carers Do
  • Foster carers’ roles and responsibilities
  • Why some children need to be cared for away from their families
  • Legislation
  • The roles and responsibilities of some members of the team involved with fostered children
  • The principles and values essential for looking after children, young people and their families
Session 2 – Identity and Life Chances
  • The importance for children and young people of having a positive sense of identity
  • The impact of prejudice, unfair discrimination and racism, as well as how life chances can be affected by being in care
  • How fostered children can achieve healthy childhoods and realise their potential at school
  • Contact with birth families
Session 3 – Working with Others
  • How plans are made for fostered children and young people
  • How foster carers work together with other professionals
  • Working in partnership with the families of fostered children
  • What you can do to support all the children in your home
Session 4 – Understanding Children in Foster Care
  • Child development and basic attachment theory.
  • How to deal with a challenging behaviour in a positive way.
  • How foster carers can help encourage resilience and self-esteem.
Session 5 – Safer Caring
  • The nature of child abuse and its consequences.
  • How everyone in the foster family needs to be safeguarded
  • Strategies to Safeguard
  • Avoiding Allegations
  • Thinking about changes & house rules
Session 6 – Transitions
  • How fostered children and young people are affected by the changes they may have to cope with
  • How foster carers can help children and young people cope with change and growing maturity
Session 7 – My Family Fosters (birth children’s group)
  • The fostering application process
  • Welcoming a child or young person into your home
  • Confidentiality and secrets
  • Household rules
  • Safer caring
  • Sharing
  • Good goodbyes.

StF is an opportunity for you to develop your understanding of what fostering involves and also to consider if fostering and Archway Care are right for you and your family. If you decide not to continue with your application, that’s absolutely fine; you will always be welcome to reapply at another time. Similarly, the course is also an opportunity for us to see if applicants have the skills and qualities we are looking for in prospective foster carers.

The Skills to Foster Course is observed by a social worker who will be responsible for producing a written report on each applicant attending the course. The report will contribute towards the formal assessment (BAAF Form F) of each applicant and will be made available to you.