The world of fostering has changed. Agencies will have have noticed for quite some time that the referrals they receive are increasingly for children and youngsters with complex needs. This is a catch all phrase describing a reality where young people are coming into care who have been traumatised by their experiences. The simple truth is that such young people can be so disturbed, and their behaviour so challenging, that is is untenable to expect foster carers to cope without significantly increased support and training. Hence the arrival of the new breed of carer – the therapeutic foster carer. This is a direct response to the market and began well before the government instigated its national fostering stocktake. In everything that has seems to have been discussed so far regarding this exercise, this development seems to have been largely absent – at least from any reference made by government. And yet this is a quite critical development. This was a year which saw a considerable debate on fostering in the media. It covered; amongst many things, payment levels to carers as well as their status. So it is odd government has had relatively little to say about the emergence of therapeutic carers. Perhaps they are waiting for the report from the stocktake. Perhaps they are reluctant to embrace the implications – for they could be costly. After all, it is harder to position a well trained and therapeutic foster carer; possibly with an MA in the subject, as not being a professional. And this will have a knock on effect on how payment levels may be perceived.
A huge part of the debate in the run up and throughout the period of the fostering stocktake has become bogged down in a wrangle over whether foster carers be considered as professionals. The leading charity, The Fostering Network, has been quite clear on this point. It’s view has been – and submitted to the stocktake – that foster carers should be considered as being professionals. So it is not altogether unsurprising that, in their latest news release, there is a hint of suspicion –
“While 2017 saw a significant focus on fostering, with the Education Committee’s inquiry and the stocktake, it was a year of conversation, introspection and discussion rather than action, momentum and change. This is the year when change must happen within fostering, and we need the Minister to lead the way – thousands of fostered children and young people, as well as the families that care for them, are depending upon him to deliver.”
It has suited the government to hold to an outdated notion of the foster carer: well intentioned, long-suffering, but ultimately always to be relied upon to keep going. Not to be regarded as professional, but endlessly well meaning and tolerant. Unfortunately, the social trends and nature of family break ups has not stood still in the same way. Many more children are arriving in care having been subjected to serious forms of abuse and neglect. Still more have witnessed; or themselves been the victims of domestic violence. Such children have severe problems that go under the convenient umbrella term of ‘complex needs’. The truth is that significant numbers (which are rising quickly) are understandably deeply traumatised by their experiences. Their problems are further compounded when they start experiencing multiple placement breakdowns as foster carers fail to cope cope: a pernicious cycle is established which leads directly to all the costly societal ills that show up years later. So can the government really be unaware of all this. The most cursory examination of a few agency websites would have made this trend apparent a long time ago. Armed with this realisation, the government would have been able to set the parameters of the fostering stocktake differently. As the Fostering Network states, “this was a year of conversation, introspection and discussion rather than action, momentum and change.” Implicit in this is the suggestion that time has been wasted. And time is important for these disadvantaged children and young people. There is an urgent problem to be addressed and, as the charity implies, much time has already been taken up with a lengthy debate.
It is well known that the wheels of government move slowly. But this is not always the case. And it should certainly not be so when the most vulnerable are being affected. The Fostering Network are to be supported in their attempts to maintain pressure on a government that cannot claim it has acted with alacrity whilst an already urgent situation deteriorates still further. As the charity rightly states:
“We look forward to the release of the national fostering stocktake report as soon as possible – it is essential that publication is not delayed as a result of the ministerial change. We would urge the Minister to fulfil the Government’s commitment to consult widely with the fostering sector – including foster carers and especially fostered children and young people – on the report’s recommendations before making any decisions on the direction forward.”
Train to be a therapeutic foster carer with us. We will enable you to meet the challenge of looking after children with a range of complex needs. Our foster carers have the opportunity to become true professionals and attract higher rates of pay: therapeutic foster carers sit at the very heart of the team which helps children and young people build brighter, better futures.
If you need to know more about therapeutic care training online, therapeutic foster care uk, training for therapeutic foster care – then you can give us a call today on 020 8427 3355. We will arrange a home visit to meet with you to discuss therapeutic foster care in more detail. This is so you can be confident you are making the right fostering career decision.
Please note: for therapeutic foster care training, we especially welcome applications from professionals experienced in working with children – a background in education, social work, the police or youth work can often be ideal.
Therapeutic foster care training in 2018
For therapeutic care training, applications from people experienced in working with children are most welcome: this is regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or cultural background. For more information, you may prefer to write to us: the address is Rainbow Fostering Services Ltd, 10 Churchill Court, 58 Station Road, North Harrow, London HA2 7SA
For general foster care – meet an urgent need and foster a child this year
Rainbow are now also urgently looking for people interested in offering homes for teenagers, sibling groups, or for special parent and child placements. We are always happy to provide information on a wide range of fostering topics which can cover: just long does it take to become a foster carer? And what is the fostering allowance? Foster care requirements, And what are the different types of foster care available? As well as foster care payments.
Featuring in today’s Rainbow news page section:
Call for Children’s Minister to prioritise national foster care stocktake
19th, January 2018
The leading foster care charity, the Fostering Network, has welcomed Nadhim Zahawi to his new position as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education (more)
And the good news at the end of this New Year’s Rainbow…we have so more birthdays to celebrate this month – Happy Birthday everyone!