Support and Training
Information for potential foster carers
Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council aims to provide safe, secure family environments to children and young people who cannot live within their own families. It is our service’s aim to increase the number of foster carers within the borough so that this can be achieved and we can improve our ability to match children and foster carers appropriately, whilst maintaining children and young people within their local communities wherever possible.
Foster carers are never on their own; we will offer you support in any way we can. We all work together as a team. As a Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council foster carer you will be trained to a high standard and supported by our dedicated team of experienced and highly skilled social worker and support workers. Our aim is, by working together with you that we can provide children and young people with the opportunity to achieve all that they are capable of in life.
What support do we offer foster carers?
Social Work Support
You will be allocated your own social worker, also referred to as a link worker, from the Placement Team, who will undertake monthly supervision sessions with you and will support you in all aspects of your fostering role.
Any child/young person placed in your care will also have their own social worker.
The Placement Team runs a foster carers support group that all foster carers are welcome and encouraged to attend. In addition The ‘Blaenau Gwent Foster Carers Association’ was formed and is run independently by Blaenau Gwent foster carers. You will be invited to become a member and to attend their bi monthly support group/meetings.
Out of Hours support
Telephone advice and support is available via our dedicated support line between the hours of 6pm-9pm weekday evening and between 10am-12pm on weekends and bank holidays. The Emergency Duty Team is also available for advice and support between the hours of 5pm and 9am 7 days a week.
As a County Borough Council we offer specialist support, working in partnership with Education and Health professionals as well and professionals from the private and voluntary sectors to ensure that you as foster carers and the children in your care are able to access and receive the support and services you require.
Newly approved foster carers
- Informal training workshops for newly approved foster carers designed to provide you with an introduction to fostering and the professionals you will be working in partnership with. Workshops include, ‘The Matching Process’ and ‘Looked After Children’s Education and Health’.
- The Team has a designated support worker who works with newly approved foster carers in preparing them for the behaviours they can expect from a child/young person who requires foster care, an understanding of these behaviours and approaches and strategies to positively manage these behaviours.
- An ongoing, comprehensive foster carers training calendar for all foster carers. Foster carers are required to attend a number of ‘Core’ training sessions to continue to be approved as a foster carer.
- The teams designated support worker works with foster carers individually around any particular issues they are experiencing.
The Fostering Network
Once approved you will become a member of the Fostering Network, who is on hand to offer advice and guidance.
We are constantly striving to develop and improve the service we provide to children, young people and their foster carers and believe this can only be achieved through working together as a team in an open and honest manner which encourages everyone involved to express their views and to share their thoughts and expertise. As such, we encourage foster carers to be involved in the recruitment and mentoring of new foster carers, the improving and development of service policies and procedures and ideas about new training opportunities.