I was asked by my supervising social worker if I would be interested in attending this course. As it turned out my supervising social worker was also attending the course. I accepted the offer as I enjoy the opportunity to learn new things and although I didn’t have a placement at the time. I knew my long term place was to return to fostering .

This course has offered me so much more than just learning. It has given me the opportunity to get to know other carers, listen and learn from their experiences and comprehend the complexities fostering can bring. I have also had the pleasure of meeting the managers of the children’s homes and listened to how they work with teenagers and hear of the strengths and difficulties they encounter with the children placed in their care.  Listening to them has enabled me to build the confidence to consider older children and with the new learning brought about by this course, I believe I am able to be more understanding towards some of the challenges the children face and the joy that they can bring.

Some of the strategies I have learnt over the last six months have been put into practise with my birth children and grandchildren and I have done a considerable amount of reflection on my previous placements. I have explored my own ‘attachment’ and upbringing and considered how this affects me and how I present to others. I believe I am now more mindful on how I can apply myself to support children placed in my care. By gaining a better understanding of myself, I believe the children placed in my care will benefit greatly in the way I approach the placements in the future.

This course has also enabled me to see beyond the presenting behaviour of a child in my care. Being able to understand where some behaviour comes from has given me the capacity to become more insightful and compassionate towards the child’s needs. By applying ‘PACE’ I believe this will support me to help the child work through some of their emotional trauma, build a rapport with me and support them to build trust.

I would recommend this course for anybody who is working directly with children or supporting other people who are working with children.

(Foster Carer June 2017)