Foster Carer Training and Support
Being a foster carer for Merthyr Tydfil Council you will never be alone as you are a part of the team around the child. We offer a wide range of training to suit your individual placement needs.
Pre-Approval Training/Skills To Foster
Prior to the completion of your assessment you should have completed a foundation course in Fostering. This course is the foundation for post approval training and includes safe caring. This is an essential component of all courses and prior to each placement, with the information provided to you, consideration must be given as to how you are to keep your family and the child coming into placement safe.
There are 4 courses that you must undertake within the first year of fostering.
If you have a partner and are both approved as foster carers you must both attend all mandatory courses. These are:
- Safeguarding Children
- First Aid
- Looked After Children's Education
- Challenging Behaviour
These training courses are essential.
Courses are outlined in the yearly programme and will be provided throughout the County. These three courses are essential.
You will be invited to attend preparation sessions where it will be explained to you what fostering entails. In addition there are 7 training modules covering;
- What do Foster Carers Do?
- Who are the children and young people?
- Working together
- Safer Caring
- Understanding Behaviour
- Moving On
- Equality, Diversity and Race.
These modules are covered over a three day period.
Ongoing training will be provided to meet your specific needs.
There is now a comprehensive training programme available which covers all ages and aspects of fostering children. During the year we may become aware of extra training outside of the Department which may be of interest to you, and, details are circulated through a flyer sent out to all carers. At the supervisory visit you and your social worker will identify any training that will help you in your current placement or which will contribute to your development.
What support will I get as a foster carer?
As a foster carer for Merthyr you will never be on your own and we will support you in any way we can. We all work together as part of a large team.
- Individual support – you will be allocated your own fostering social worker who will support you in all aspects of fostering
- Support for the child - any child placed with you will have his or her own social worker
- Support from other carers – once approved you will be allocated a mentor, which is an experienced foster carer who will be there for you for the first six months. Many friendships have been made through fostering and there is now a large support network on hand. Social activities for all carers and their families are also arranged, such as trips to the pantomime, theme parks and also a Christmas party
- Support groups – groups are held four times a year. Carers will be able to learn more about fostering and the wider picture of looked after children. You will also have the opportunity to meet many other carers who live in your area to share knowledge and ideas
- Financial support - an allowance is paid to foster carers to cover the costs of looking after a child and a fee is paid to the carer. This fee is dependent on experience
- Out of hours support – our team are available from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. We also have additional support from Gellideg Outreach staff that can be contacted up until 9 p.m. on weekdays and between 9a.m. and 9 p.m on weekends on 01685 725018.
Between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8.30 a.m. our emergency duty team can be contacted on 01443 425012 including Bank Holidays.
- Multi-agency support – the Council are also able to offer specialist support for you and the children on issues such as health, education and behaviour management
- Newsletter – the Fostering Team produce a newsletter to keep our carers up to date with all new and relevant information.
- The Fostering Network – once approved you will become a member of The Fostering Network, who are also on hand to offer you guidance and advice.
Expressing an Interest
If you would like more information or if you would like a member of our Fostering Team to contact you to discuss matters, please complete our Foster Carers Application of interest form.