6th August 2020

Virtual training for potential foster carers

Vital work to recruit new foster carers in Somerset is continuing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic thanks to technology.

Somerset County Council’s Fostering service brought together 25 potential foster carers for a two-day preparation course using an online virtual platform that allowed all taking part to interact.

The Skills to Foster course is usually run as a group with participants taking part in discussions and learning together. It gives potential foster carers the chance to understand how they can make a real difference to a child’s life and how it might affect their own family and lifestyle.

But due to the necessary restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus, the course has been transferred online – and the first proved a real success.

Participants were able to join from their own homes, take part in group discussions and activities, and hear from speakers sharing their experiences of fostering.

Everyone taking part was supportive, understanding the need for the virtual course and enjoyed being able to “meet” each other and work together remotely.

“They were a wonderful group to work with over the course of the two days and it was a pleasure delivering the training.  There is no such thing as a ‘typical foster carer’ and each person in the group had something different to offer,” said Natalie Parsons, Advanced Practitioner for Fostering In Somerset, who ran the course.

One couple said: “It was beautifully structured to cover the key issues that can arise and that we may need to face as we develop and gain experience as foster carers. It was also good to meet others.”

The next virtual Skills to Foster course, for invited individuals at the start of their fostering application, is due to take place next month.

You could make a difference to a child or young person in care as an SCC foster carer. For more information and details on how to apply, visit www.fosteringinsomerset.org.uk or phone 0800 587 9900 and chat to their friendly team. You can also find them on Facebook @fosteringinsomerset  or follow @fostersomerset on Twitter.