Training and Support
The training and support we provide to our foster carers are significant aspects to our agency. We want to ensure that our carers feel supported at all times at any time, day or night. We also want to make sure that our carers have the relevant, appropriate training to help progress their fostering careers and their own personal development.
Training is very important at Sunbeam as it enables you to learn what fostering is all about and keeps you up to date with the relevant policies and procedures.
During your assessment, we ask you to attend our Skills to Foster course. This is a three-day training course on a Friday, Saturday & Sunday that is undertaken at one of our registered offices. It is a group training session that is conducted by one of our social workers and it includes presentations and group interactions. This training course gives you a real insight into what fostering is, what is involved and any challenges you may face. It also gives you scenarios of how to resolve certain situations or what to do if something happens when other professional need to intervene.
The Skills to Foster course is compulsory for all our applicants. It may answer questions you didn’t know you had or give you information on something you hadn’t even thought of. It is a chance to meet other applicants in the same position as you, which gives you the opportunity to share your experiences and feelings.
Knowing our carers feel supported and valued is hugely important to us. We aim to provide consistent, professional support to all our carers therefore offering a range of services to promote this. Sunbeam offers a 24/7 out of hours support service. This allows our carers to contact a duty social worker during the evenings & weekends at any time day or night. It gives our carers comfort knowing that someone is on the end of phone if need they need any help or support. We never want our carers to feel alone and that if they do face a challenge at any time, they can speak to our team for guidance.
Sunbeam also delivers regular support groups to carers and foster children. These are group sessions that allow our carers and children to get together and have an informal discussion on various topics. For carers it may be to update their knowledge on any procedures or recent policies or to help them write the life story work for their children in placement. For the children, it can vary from discussing their schooling to expressing any of their own personal achievements. Both support groups are not only great opportunity for everyone to get together but to also have any private discussions with the social worker about any confidential concerns.
As an agency, we want to give you as much support as you need. We aim to keep in frequent touch with you through visits at least once a month and regular telephone calls. In addition, will be your advocate and support you fully when dealing with local authorities and birth parents.