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Waiting for skills to foster course

(10 Posts)
TulipsfromAmsterdam Mon 18-Jul-11 15:19:04

Hi, wondered if anyone has info on usual length of time to wait to get on this course and how many are usually run per year? I realize all LA's are different so just after general view.
We applied in Feb, had SW visit in May where she left forms saying they hoped to run one before summer holidays. Recently found out they were about to start one the following day when I called about progress of our application but this was too late for us and as they had a couple cancel their place was a bit disappointed.
I realize I am being impatient but really want to do this asap. Even began to think that we may not be as suitable as they let us believe but they sent out a letter in error asking us to return forms or they would assume we were not interested, turned out forms were there but had been misfiled.
Grateful for any info

p99gmb Mon 18-Jul-11 17:32:55

I think it really is luck of the draw and depends on when they are next scheduled to run.. we had our initial visit in Nov and only just managed to get on the course in March..

Most LA's are doing big recruitment drives for carers and not necessarily increasing the number of courses, so it really is a matter of waiting for an available slot..

I know how frustrating it is.. you want to get 'started', but other than ensuring you are on the 'waiting list', I don't think there's anything you can do to speed it up.

During the wait, I paid for myself to do a EY first aid course with St. John's Ambulance, started a child psychology diploma, got myself a job working as a learning mentor, did voluntary work at a school with kids with ADHD etc etc...

When it comes time (and it hopefully will, just in their time, not yours!!) to do your portfolio, it shows how serious & committed you are... just a thought anyway..

There's also good books which you could read (and mention during your application) which are available from BAAF.. one is "attachment, trauma and resilience". I read these and I think they helped us 'stand out a bit' grin on the skills to foster course.. as I knew some of the 'answers'!!

Hope ideas of some use for you... good luck x x

TulipsfromAmsterdam Tue 19-Jul-11 12:37:32

Thanks for your informative post. Was planning on doing some voluntary work to help pass the time waiting and thought it may help us with our application.
Keen to find out more about the child pyschology diploma - can you tell me who you went through to do yours? The first aid course is also a great idea.
Just off to the library as they have a couple of interesting books and have found the one you recommend on amazon.
Thanks again

p99gmb Tue 19-Jul-11 13:52:11

Glad I've been of help.

As I was abroad at the time, I did a distance learning course for the child psychology.. see Click Here - their support was very good and you can do it at whatever pace suits your lifestyle..

They'd probably send you on a First Aid course once approved, but for the sake of spending about £100 I thought every bit of help to our application was a worthwhile investment..

Good luck & keep in touch smile

NanaNina Tue 19-Jul-11 23:43:42

Hi Tulips - I am a retired sw and tm mgr in a Fostering & Adoption team (now retired after 30 years) - It sounds to me like the LA made a cock-up of your application. Sounds like they lost your forms (which is what misfiled) probably means. They were probably sitting at the bottom of someone's in-tray, and that is why you were not on the course recently started.

I don't think you are being impatient - it is true that there can be a long wait for the course, but I think you should have been on the current course if you returned your forms in May to indicate that you were still interested. Have you asked them when they intend to run the next course, and ask if they can ensure that you are given a place on the course next time. They can't possibly rule you out as unsuitable at this stage. Mind there are some exceptions (like the 86 year old woman who lived in a 1 bedroomed flat) whose son thought it might be a good idea for her to foster!! There are other people you visit who are clearly unsuitable and you don't invite them on to a prep course because you know it would be a waste of time. It has to be something very obvious though - like the example above or the woman who I was visiting and the room was divided with a sort of screen and I could hear someone moving about, so I asked if there was someone there and she said "yes, it's my husband but I don't want him to know I am applying to foster!" So I made a sharp exit!

If you go on the British Agencies for Fostering & Adoption (BAAF) there is a lot of useful information, or Fostering Networks (which is the national organisation for Fostering.) There are books you can buy on the sites. If there is one thing that a foster carer really needs to understand is attachment theory because almost every foster child will have had an insecure attachment with their birth parents, and foster carers need to understand that very often love is not enough for these children. They will have learned maybe from their very earliest days that adults are not to be trusted, because their needs were not met, and their parents maybe be physically available but not emotionally available to them. Most LAs run post approval courses on attachment issues, but you sound like someone who wants to find out as much as possible. There are lots of issues of course but I honestly think understand attachments issues is one of the most important. The other thing to think about is that for most children ho are in need of foster care, there is often a gap between their chronological age and their emotional age, so that is another helpful thing to read up on.

I'm sure if you put Attachment Issues or Attachment Disorders into Amaxon it would come up with something, but you will certainly get helpful books from BAAF. You can become a member (doesn't cost a lot to join) and you will receive quarterly helpful material and booklets on all aspects of fostering.

But remember, foster carers are like gold dust to LAs so make that call to the fostering team and find out when the next course will be and ask if they will ensure you are given a place.


TulipsfromAmsterdam Wed 20-Jul-11 13:34:57

Thanks NanaNina for your reply. Had to laugh at your 86 y.o. in her 1 bed flat and the mad woman who thought her husband wouldn't notice!
Have reserved a book from our library and planning on buying the one p99gmb mentioned so they will be helpful in finding out more during the wait.
Thanks for giving me the confidence to ring back regarding the course, I tend to not want to keep on at them knowing they are a very busy department.

Juey1 Thu 21-Jul-11 14:04:04

Hi hun- are they doing your assesment while you wait- my assesment started in January and we had the skills to foster in March. If they haven't might be worth asking if they could do that xx

NanaNina Sat 23-Jul-11 21:28:09

I know that some of the IFAs start the assessment before the course and maybe even some LAs. However I don't think this works, because applicants need to know far more about all aspects of fostering, to ensure that they still want to go ahead. It is a 2 way street and the course should help people decide if they actually do want to go ahead. Most people do, but it should be remembered that it is better to be honest and if you realise it isn't for you, then you can save yourself and the social worker a lot of time.

Admittedly a lot of the assessment is focussed on your own parenting, you parenting methods (if you have children) your education, employment etc, but a significant part is looking at how you might be able to help a LA child abd without doing the course I think it is unfair to expect people to be able to know a great deal. Of course the course doesn't teach you everything and like a lot of things you "learn on the job" but I still think the skills to foster course needs to be undertaken before the assessment.

maypole1 Sun 21-Aug-11 20:51:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TulipsfromAmsterdam Mon 22-Aug-11 15:25:05

Thanks for replies. Have got dates now so looking forward to beginning the process at last though I realize there is quite a long road ahead.
Feeling so excited but also nervous though whenever I come on here and hear some of the lovely positive stories the time can't go by fast enough.

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