The Carer Academy is devised and facilitated by our Training Manager, Elspeth Soutar. By conducting research it was decided that a new approach was needed to provide our Foster Carers with a more advanced skill-set outside of the regular training programme in order to support them with the children and young people being placed with them.
Within Fostering, referral trends have changed significantly over the last 5-6 years, which has meant higher levels of complexity, decommissioning strategies and fostering being viewed as the best form of alternative care. We wanted to provide our Carers with a programme of training courses designed to up skill and support them in order to better manage and work with the Children and Young People being placed with them. Difficult times call for innovation and creativity and within Fostering Relations we view every referral as an opportunity to help and enable our looked after Children and Young People to advance through life with the support and dedication of our highly trained Foster Carers. We pride ourselves on being solution focused practitioners.
Across the group we have national expertise in Bridge to Foster, Parent & Child, solo, remand and complex placements therefore it was necessary to pull all of our knowledge and resources together and develop our 8 week training programme, The Carers Academy. This is a unique and intensive programme mixing internal and external training experts, along with guest speakers to challenge, motivate and further enhance our Carers existing skills to a new level of expertise.
Our Carer Karen Gorman quoted “I feel the carer’s academy is a fantastic addition to our already brilliant training. It helped that Elspeth delivers the training in an excellent manner which is always interesting and engaging. The training itself was very appropriate for the issues and problems we have to deal with as foster carers on sometimes a daily basis. I think we all felt we could actually have benefited with extra days to expand on it as there is so much to cover. It was also great to bond with the group and to be able to share ideas and problems. I really enjoyed the Training Academy”.
Mandy Dunn also a Carer explains “I thoroughly enjoyed attending the Carers Academy I thought it was very interesting and thought provoking. I felt the course covered a broad selection of themes and the group gelled well. The trainer (Elspeth) was very good at delivering the training, putting points across in a non- judgemental manner and using appropriate language which made it easy to follow and understand. The venue was also fine, comfortable and lunch was good. I do know there is a separate course on Record Taking but feel this may be a good one to incorporate on The Carers Academy”.
Carers who successfully completed the Carer Academy Course were:-