The Journey Into IndependenceLeaving care is a significant milestone in a young person’s life and it is one of the most difficult and emotionally challenging times in their journey. After years of living in a risk adverse system surrounded by restrictions and rules, the prospect of independence can be exciting. No more rules, no more meetings, no more social workers, no more controlling adults.
The time to escape this system has finally arrived. Equally the thoughts of losing all support, having to fend for themselves, worrying about how they may support themselves if anything goes wrong can be overwhelming and frightening.
It is important to understand the issues that young people leaving care face and find ways of providing a new kind of support that will help ease the tension and support young people as they venture out of this system and into the world of independence.
This course looks at the leaving care and the issues young people face as they “age out” of the care system and provides a number of tools to help foster carers better understand what their young people may be going through.
Capturing The JourneyChildren raised by their birth families will have their lives recorded in the memories of those around them, by their family, by those who love them. A consistent caregiver not only provides a stable foundation for children to spread their roots and grow, they also provide a stable external narrative.
Children and young people in care will also have their lives recorded by those around them but the difference is that for many children in care, especially those on long term care orders, those around them are constantly changing and so that external narrative comes from a huge list of authors, all carrying different opinions and motives. This external narrative can paint an unfair and unbalanced picture of a child.
The lives of children and young people in care are narrated on paper and on electronic systems such as CHARMS. Although foster carers will record a child’s journey in their memory, when a child moves on from them, those memories stay in the minds of the foster carer, whilst their paper narrative sticks with them.
This course will explore how children are portrayed on paper with a focus on the power of blankets statements and labels, encouraging caregivers and professionals to narrate a child’s life positively rather than focussing on what a child has said or done wrong. Scott will also pull on his own life experiences, presenting some of his own files, reflecting on the way he was written about as a child.
Identity and Self-EsteemDeveloping self-compassion is helpful to good mental health and contributes to a stable sense of identity. Children in care will have faced great adversity in their life and so will often have low self-esteem, low self-worth and be confused about their identity.
This course will take a look at these issues. We will look at just how important identity and self-esteem is, not just in the now but in the long term. Many children in care do not like themselves and it is of paramount importance that we teach them how to value themselves and believe in themselves, to teach them self-compassion and to be kind to themselves.
An Introduction To FosteringThe world of fostering can be an absolute minefield for those just starting out - this course has been specifically designed as an introductory course to help you navigate the complex world of fostering. Whether you have just started the process, are thinking about fostering or have recently been approved this course will give you much needed confidence and understanding. This course is filled with information around how the UK care system functions including who everyone is, what they do and where foster carers fit into this. Throughout this course you will learn about why children come into care, including some real life narratives to give you a good idea of what life in care can be like from the child / young person's perspective. You will be provided with downloadable resources to take away and read / refer back to as and when needed. This course would also benefit anyone who finds themselves working with children in care within other roles or who wants to learn more about the care system.
This does not replace the Skills To Foster pre-approval training, however this course stands to help people feel more comfortable in understanding the world of fostering as they enter it.
Teenage Challenging BehavioursBeing a teenager is tough, being a parent to a teenager can feel even tougher, but being a teenager who is also carrying the additional weight of trauma and adverse childhood experiences is tougher than both combined.
This course looks at some of the difficulties that all teenagers face but also, how growing up in care can exacerbate the already very difficult developmental changes and stages of adolescence.
Tools and tips are provided to aid understanding and to nurture a new way of thinking about teenagers and their external behavioural expressions whilst always linking how they behave to how they feel.
The Child’s WorldThis is an in-person course delivered by Scott King. Scott will take you through his life journey reflecting on the good and the bad. This is the in-person adaptation of "Growing Up In Care: Lived Experience"
Growing Up In Care: Lived ExperienceScott King was taken into care when he was 6 months old along with his older brother Ben who was 3 at the time. Ben and Scott spent their entire youth in care and endured great hardship, however, somehow they prevailed in the face of adversity. Scott was considered by those caring for him to be a very challenging child, whereas Ben was very quiet. Due to reasons they were not aware of at the time, they both had a lot of moves and were split up partway through their journey. Scott will reflect on how he and Ben understood things as children and compare that to how they understand it all now. Like many children in care, Ben and Scott's journeys were complex and very confusing, leaving many voids and additional traumas after care.
Scott will take learners through his and Ben's recovery journey of revisiting the old homes, finding the people from their past and finding the answers they needed to gain closure. Scott will take learners through every move, every hardship and all the ups and all the downs from his perspective as a child and as an adult looking back. Scott has also worked professionally in this system for many years as well so he is also able to bring in the professional perspective. By understanding Scott and Ben's journeys it will give learners a better insight into how a journey though care and trauma can feel and what it is like in their shoes. From this new level of understanding, learners can better understand the children they work for and think differently about the decisions they make.
Siblings In CareThis course will look at the complex "push & pull" relationships that siblings in care have. Attendees will understand the importance of sibling bonds and how important it is to keep siblings together but also how to work with siblings expressing challenging behaviours
Creative Ways Of Engaing With Young PeopleThis course is an interactive workshop which will provide carers with a wide range of low cost but engaging activities they can use to engage with hard to reach children. We feel it is important to bond with children and build strong relationships with trust at the heart. Carers will be expected to unleash their creativity and also learn how play can help children recover from trauma and communicate how they feel about themselves.
Self-AwarenessThis course will help attendees to understand what influences their own behaviours and feelings. Psychology and service user reflections are used to aid understanding of how a sense of right and wrong is formed and how this impacts on external behaviours. This course has been developed to help professionals move the focus away from the child’s behaviour and look at behaviour holistically and in context, opening minds and building a better understanding of self. Attendees will then begin to understand how much the influence of their own actions have on the children in their care.