Support and training

Every foster carer in the UK must complete a comprehensive training programme before a child is placed into their care. Even if a carer already has experience of bringing up their own children, or is a trained teacher or nurse, this specialised training will add to their knowledge and make sure that they are fully equipped to provide high quality care to each child placed with them.

At Parents for Children, we specialise in helping some of the most troubled and demanding children. We know that our carers need the very best training and support from our specialist team to help them care for children with profound physical, emotional or learning disabilities.

Initial training programme

Our four-day preparation and training programme takes place in central London. You can view some of the topics covered in the training programme here.

Ongoing training

We offer an ongoing training programme for our carers. Some of our training sessions are tailored to a specific group of children, for example 'Communicating with Children with Disabilities'. Other sessions can focus on one aspect of care or in depth, for example 'Caring for Abused Children' or 'Managing Contact'.

Our trainers are all specialists in their particular field. They may be members of the Parents for Children team or external specialists. We often work with other specialist organisations, such as the National Autistic Society and the National Children's Bureau, to provide jointly-run training courses. These organisations are valuable sources of information for our carers.

Conferences and seminars

As well as our regular training programme, we organise a series of conferences and seminars which give the opportunity to listen to the views of highly respected experts. Our carers are always welcome to attend any of these conferences, usually at a specially discounted rate. These events are often very popular, so we do ask our carers to pre-book a place with us in advance.

Support groups

Most of our carers have an excellent support network of family and friends they can turn to for advice or just for someone to talk to, but talking to other carers is an excellent way to learn from the experience of others. We run regular support group meetings at the Parents for Children office, which give our carers the opportunity to share ideas and work out new ways of tackling problems.

Social worker contact

For each placement, a Parents for Children carer will have regular contact with their Parents for Children social worker, who will help to monitor and review progress and offer advice. The child in their care will also be visited regularly by their local authority social worker.

Out-of-hours help

Caring for a child is not a 9-5 job and we know that our carers often need to speak to a friendly voice out of office hours. There is a 24-hour support service available. The support service phone number is given to all of our approved carers.

Offering a home to a disturbed child is a huge commitment, but we at Parents for Children will make sure that you have the best possible training and access to ongoing support to make the valuable work you are doing that bit easier.