Carer Support

We Need You!

The Extensive Support We Provide to our Carers

As one of our foster carers you will be very well supported by our team and you will have your own supervising social worker, who will visit you regularly and provide support.

Foster Carer Support & Training

Pre-approval, you will be invited to attend a two-day training called Skills to Foster (STF) prior to you submitting an application. The STF training is mandatory and will form part of any future assessment. STF is facilitated by Acorn’s Senior Recruitment Officer and either 1 or 2 of Acorn’s current foster carers; the training is designed to give people interested in fostering the ‘realities’ of fostering. We want you to be as sure, as you can be about anything in life, that fostering is right for you and your family.
Post-approval you will be allocated a Supervising Social Worker (SSW) who will supervise and support you and will be your primary point of contact on a day-to-day basis; your SSW also attends meetings with you. If your SSW is not available for any reason, the duty social worker or a manager will be available to offer any support or advice that you may need. Outside of office hours you can access support from the out of hours duty social worker, who is in turn supported by the duty manager; support and advice is available to Acorn foster carers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Something that comes up again and again in foster carer feedback about the agency is that; no matter what time they contact the agency, they are confident that the person they speak to will instantly know who they are and will offer them the support that they are looking for.

Support Groups

Acorn foster carers attend regular support groups organised by their SSW’s; these may be either virtual or face-to-face- the latter are held in 3 different geographical locations. Larger support groups, giving all Acorn foster carers the opportunity to meet up are held 2 or 3 times a year. Acorn foster carers also have a WhatsApp support group where advice can be requested/offered or where information that foster carers may find useful is posted. The agency will also ‘buddy you up’ with another carer in your area.

Post approval training consists of a mix of e-learning, face-to-face training and virtual training. Each foster carer has a Personal Development Plan (PDP) which clearly outlines your training needs; the PDP is updated on a regular basis after discussion between individual foster carers and their SSW’s. There are a number of mandatory trainings for foster carers and you will receive a calendar of the training events at the start of the year; this allows you to plan the training around other fostering tasks and commitments.
All Acorn foster carers are given membership to Foster Talk – a source of independent support and advice for foster carers and agencies; Acorn pays the foster carers subscription for this service. As a member of Foster Talk, you will receive monthly newsletters and quarterly magazines and free online events and access to their helplines.

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