At TACT we are committed to ensuring that we provide you with the training and development that enables to develop the skills and experience you need to handle whatever comes your way.

We make it as easy as possible for our foster carers to continue their learning and development, and are pleased to inform you that there are over 80 training courses available to you. Learning can be accessed in many ways; it could be in one of our offices, one-on-one with your social worker or online, depending on what works best for you.

Foster carer training starts early in the application process and is for both the primary and secondary foster carer – it is very important that both foster carers are actively involved with developing their skills and knowledge. Once approved as a TACT foster carer, you will also have access to Research in Practice.

Introductory training

As a prospective foster carer you will be required to attend a three day training programme called The Skills to Foster.

The course is delivered at locations across the UK and combines teaching delivered by TACT Social Workers with sessions from current foster carers to give you an insight into the realities of foster care and a chance to ask questions.

During the course you will explore the practical, day-to-day skills that all foster carers need, based around 6 key themes:

  • The role and responsibilities of foster carers
  • The importance of identity and the impact of life changes on children
  • Working with others to support the needs of children in care
  • Understanding and managing behaviour
  • Safer caring
  • The importance of stability and supporting transitions

There is a 7th key theme that has been specifically designed for sons and daughters.  Session 7 explains to birth children what fostering means, and why children and young people may be in foster care. It explores some of the concerns son and daughters may have to help them through their fostering journey.

Induction and initial training

In your first year as a TACT foster carer you’ll will be required to complete your induction training programme, which will include the following topics:

  • An introduction to TACT
  • Policies and procedures
  • Standards and recording
  • Valuing diversity
  • Safe caring
  • Parenting the sexually abused child
  • Safeguarding and child protection
  • First aid – specific to children
  • Attachment

The Training, Support and Development Standards (TSD)

In England, all foster carers are required to complete the Training support and Development Standards in the first year of being approved as a foster carer.

The TSD standards forms part of your induction into your new role as a foster carer. They set up out a national minimum benchmark for what foster carers should know, understand and be able to do within their first year after being approved.

The TSD standards training materials are accessible as an online resource, case studies and the TSD workbook.

Please see the link to Department for Education website containing downloadable work books: Training Standards Development Workbooks

Fostering Changes

As a TACT foster carer you will be required to complete the fostering changes course within a year of being approved. This course was designed by childcare experts in response to requests from foster carers for more practical ideas and help in looking after children.

The course is usually delivered over 12 weeks. It is intended to help you develop confidence and practical fostering skills, which will equip you to deal with some of the most complex of placements. During the course you will explore the following topics:

  • How children thrive
  • Behaviour, attachment and social learning theory
  • Needs and behaviour
  • Positive attention
  • Communicating with looked after children
  • How to create a good learning environment
  • Expressing feelings
  • Giving instructions and ignoring
  • Discipline
  • Time out and problem solving
  • Facilitating positive endings
  • Relaxation and moving forward

Ongoing development

Shortly after approval you and your social worker will discuss your development needs and put together a plan of what you’ll learn, in the first year this is likely to focus on your induction plan and fostering changes.

You will review your plan with your social worker every year and we’ll support you with ongoing training depending both on your needs and those of the children or young people in your care.

Learning can be accessed in many ways; it could be in house, one-on-one with your social worker or online, depending on what works best.