Safer Caring Training Update

On 27 September 2018 a number of foster carers attended Safer Caring training at Middlemoor Fire Station.The trainer Kayleigh was very experienced in working with children, young people, and foster carers and had delivered training programmes for a number of years.

Kayleigh recommended a book produced by The Fostering Network called ‘Safer Caring: a new approach ‘ written by Jackie Slade. The training day covered the following topics outlined within the book.

1 The role and status of foster carers: the relevance for safer caring of the foster carer’s position in the team around the child or young person.

2 Being ‘Risk sensible, not risk averse’, the need for a realistic and proportionate approach to risk so children and young people can grow and learn.

3 Delegated authority: whenever appropriate, foster carers with everyday responsibility for children and young people should be able to make day-to-day decisions for them.

Foster carers on the day were able to share their experiences of how they manage Safer Caring issues within their family, and how their plans can change and adapt as the children change and grow older.

We completed some case studies in groups and discussed how we would manage different situations and assess risk issues, such as reading bedtime stories to the children and how to show physical affection to the young people that we look after.

We discussed the reasons for having a good Safer Caring plan is place to ensure that foster carers are mindful of protecting themselves from allegations by the children and young people and to ensure that the children we look after feel safe and secure in our care.

We had interesting discussions around the use of technology, social media and mobile telephones and the dilemmas and conflict around keeping children and young people safe.

Foster carers were able to share and consider the differences in parenting their own children compared to foster children and not wanting the foster children to be treated or feel differently from their own children.

There was a helpful section of training towards the end of the day where we discussed how allegations are managed by professionals, including the LADO process, and the legislation and guidance around this such as Working Together 2018 and discussed some of the reasons why children may make allegations or complaints.

Overall, the training was very helpful to remind foster carers of the importance of Safer Caring and the need to have a robust plan in place to protect both themselves and the children and young people that they look after. The training was useful for both experienced and newer foster carers as they were able to share their own experiences and ideas about what works and what can at times be challenging.

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