Support and training for foster carers
If you foster for Swindon Borough Council, we can provide you with a wide placement choice of local children who need local families to care for them. This helps the children helps them maintain contact with their friends, school and family.
We need foster families for children with different levels of need and we work hard to ensure we match the right child to the right family and gradually build up your confidence, skills and experience.
As a foster carer you are a valued member of the team working with the child and family.
You will have your own fostering social worker, called a Supervising Social Worker, who will maintain regular contact with you and your family. They will provide you with advice, guidance and practical support to help you along the way.
We offer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including:
- Regular contact with a Supervising Social Worker who will provide support and guidance
- Support from the fostering team as and when needed, for example if you need guidance and support in managing a child’s behaviour
- Additional equipment needed to care for children joining your family, such as a buggy or cot
- A generous fostering allowance and additional financial payments, including travel expenses, a payment towards Christmas, birthdays and holidays
- Annual leave payment
- The opportunity to gain skills and experience to receive a skill fee for each child placed with you, in addition to the fostering allowance
- Respite is available to support placements where it is agreed as part of the child’s care plan
- Access to our looked after children’s nurse for your foster child if needed
- Access to specialist assessment and support via our children’s mental health team
- Support regarding education issues from the looked after children’s education team
- Organised social events for you, your own children and your foster child
- Free membership to the Fostering Network, a specialist support organisation to help foster carers
- Free Membership of New Family Social for all LGBT foster carers
- Automatic membership to Swindon Foster Carers Association, a local support network
- A foster care handbook for guidance
- Regular newsletters
- Support groups where you and your children can meet other families who foster
Training and development
Swindon Borough Council provides many learning and development opportunities to help you carry out your role as a foster carer. This begins during the assessment process with our skills to foster preparation course.
As a foster carer you will be able to access further training that fits in with your needs such as safe caring, child protection and managing behaviour. Training is held at times and venues to suit you.
Swindon Borough Council has a full range of training courses available to carers to help them care safely and confidently for foster children and young people.They range from one day workshops on subjects such as child protection, safer caring, health, education to managing behaviour.
All carers are expected to participate in training and will be encouraged to do so by their supervising social workers. Training is also a great way of meeting other carers and getting support.