Fostering support and training
One-to-one support worker
Fostering is a very rewarding career. However, some children, because of their history, will be far more challenging than others. All carers benefit from having the one-to-one support and guidance of a support worker. This person provides a useful sounding board to discuss confidential matters with. Your support worker will also work with you to plan your career development so that you can provide the very best care for the children you look after and enable you to continue to be rewarded and fulfilled by your job in ways that matter to you.
Birmingham City Council provides a one-off setting-up grant to make sure that you can make adjustments to your home that will help you to provide the best care possible.
All carers receive a Fostering Handbook, which provides a useful reference tool.
Round the clock emergency on-call service
The Support Teams also operate an 'on-call' service that covers nights, weekends and bank holidays and can respond to your urgent enquiries. There is also a dedicated Out-of-Hours Emergency Duty Team available to all callers outside of standard office hours.
Free Membership to key support networks
Membership with the Birmingham Foster Care Association (BFCA) and a subscription to Fostering Network, the national association of foster carers, are both included as standard. The BFCA provides advice and support through quarterly newsletters, by telephone or in person through their carer-to-carer 'buddy' system. Local cell groups are another common way to meet fellow carers and to pool expertise.
All carers are required to undertake certain training modules. Once approved, your support worker will discuss your needs as a carer and help to facilitate any further training you may require. Please do not be put off by this. Our training is specially designed for your practical use and benefit. Whilst it is very important, and can be accredited for foster carers, it isn't at all academic or stuffy. In fact, most people say that what they learnt or discussed during training was invaluable to them and stayed with them for the rest of their lives.
Contact Birmingham Adoption and Fostering Service.