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Community Foster Care has joined two other fostering agencies in a groundbreaking move to improve standards for children in care.
Along with The Children’s Family Trust and The Foster Care Co-operative, the agency, based in Gloucestershire, has formed a new partnership called ‘Skyrocket’ which offers training that will better prepare senior foster care staff for the unique task of managing a fostering organisation.
The three not-for-profit agencies recognised that there is an abundance of good ‘one-size-fits-all’ management courses, but none that prepare their managers for the specific role of running a foster care organisation. Managers therefore have to learn as they go.
Skyrocket’s driving focus is to ensure that the key elements of regulation, administration, contracting, leadership and HR are delivered specifically within the context of fostering.
The training course targets key priorities, aide-memoires and signposted resources, and provides newly-appointed Registered Managers in foster care with a ‘toolkit’ for future reference.
It includes sharing the experiences of those in post who have often had to ‘find their way’, providing a clear overview of the responsibilities, challenges, practical priorities and delivery methods of what can initially seem overwhelming.
The course has been designed and is delivered by experienced Registered Managers and fostering Chief Executives.
Attendees leave having developed insights, strategies and a professional peer group, with a clear framework of fostering managerial skills.
The CEOs also offer a free, confidential six-month mentorship to participants who want it.
Skyrocket one-day extension courses are also offered that concentrate on single subject areas such as contract tendering, HR and business management.
Community Foster Care’s Business Development Manager Dan Whitson-Jones said: “We struggled to find good quality appropriate training for our registered managers. So we decided to create something that would equip current and future managers with the right tools to manage their service from the beginning.
“We worked hard to make the training relevant, engaging and delivered in a timeframe that is sensitive to the workloads of the attendees. We are about to deliver this course for the fifth time, and feedback so far has been excellent.
“What makes this venture unique is the alliance of three not-for-profit fostering organisations who, by the very nature of their ethical objectives, are working together to improve standards across the sector. The course was written by managers, for managers.”
Funds raised from Skyrocket are ploughed back into providing more foster carer support across the three agencies.
To find out more, visit www.skyrocket.org.uk.