There are many types of foster care: people can specialise in parent and child foster care or looking after sibling groups. Sadly, many children are now coming into the care system having been abused or neglected. They may also have been exposed to witnessing domestic violence, or the chaotic homes they came from may have been places where drug and alcohol abuse were common. Such children, understandably, have some very particular needs. Foster carers who look after children who have backgrounds like this need additional training.
Therapeutic foster care
The job of a therapeutically trained foster carer is to have a detailed awareness of the history and background of the child that they are caring for. They have to understand what has gone wrong in the life of that child so that they can provide the best emotional and psychological support. Through demonstrating a close understanding, the goal is to assist the child in developing an improved sense of self esteem. This then enables the child to enjoy friendships, and this can make all the difference in them feeling settled at school.
The qualities a therapeutic foster carer needs to have
As well as the skills that a foster parent has, a therapeutic foster carer needs to –
- have a thorough understanding of how traumatic experiences can impact negatively on a child/young person’s development;
- be able to look beyond challenging behaviour and to show understanding of its causes;
- understand that the healing process will require time and perseverance;
- the interest and willingness to build their knowledge and skills through regular specialist training.
Perhaps more than anything, a therapeutic carer has to make a young person feel that they will always be there for them – however distressing and challenging their behaviour might be. For a child that may never have been able to trust an adult, having a
carer stand by them can start the process of healing.
The nature of therapeutic care
Therapeutic training can cover areas that include attachment theory, trauma and dissociation, child psychology, transactional analysis, psychodynamic principles and behaviour modification. It is becoming increasingly important that foster carers willing to be trained in therapeutic care disciplines are found. This is because increasing numbers of children and young people coming into foster care need this kind of specialist help. If foster carers do not have the right kind of training, it can be very easy for placements to repeatedly breakdown. Every move for a child can add to their sense of rejection and this can cause even more behavioural problems. It is this cycle of placement breakdown that is so harmful to the well-being and prospects of children and young people. With older children, the problems can be especially deep seated and spill out from the foster home – even affecting the local community.
At Rainbow we have our specialist ‘Turnaround’ Programme’ – where an individual child/young person has serious issues relating to control and/or an inability to recognise boundaries of any sort, we will make a detailed risk assessment and assess the level of need. This may also involve a clinical assessment and be supported by our retained psychologist. A detailed therapy framework will then be devised which is integral to ongoing care planning. Obviously this is tailored for each individual and no two cases are alike.
With us, foster carers have the option to enrol in education and training courses to boost their skills and expertise. Doing this means that they can be paid at an enhanced rate.
Transfer to Rainbow – a leading independent fostering agency
We welcome existing carers who are interested in joining a dynamic and highly motivated foster care agency. We provide tailored support, up to date training and opportunities to enhance and build your career in fostering. There are many benefits if you decide to transfer to Rainbow Fostering – including a great pay – other benefits include:
- our special Rainbow transfer bonus*
- opportunities for promotion to higher rates of pay;
- a smooth and efficient transfer process – not usually taking more than fourteen weeks;
- excellent relationships with the local authorities resulting in high rates of referrals;
- our foster carers are always regarded as being part of a team of professionals;
- working with experienced professional staff as well as membership of a friendly and vibrant community of carers.
- to be eligible, you need to be an approved carer (already with a long term foster placement in place)
Welcome news at the end of this particular Rainbow…we are now close to launching our new Rainbow website
In the news: foster care news story
Call for additional free childcare for foster children
November 13th, 2017
The government has now come under pressure to reverse a discriminatory decision which excludes all foster children from receiving an additional fifteen hours of free childcare (more)