When you foster with Credo Care you have your own Supervising Social Worker who visits regularly to discuss your placement(s), your training and development needs, and deal with any issues that arise. One of our social workers is always available through our 'on call service' 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Supervisions can also be undertaken via video call.
We work to help you to improve your foster caring practice through continual professional development.
Our foster families are allocated their own Support Worker who can assist in a variety of ways. This might be to take the child out for the day, do an activity at home or organise contact visits with their famiy members. It can also be used to give carers a well earned break when they need it. We have found this to be invaluable in providing practical support to the foster family which helps to maintain a stable placement.
Credo Care is committed to good behaviour support as central to the successful placement of a child with austim or a learning disability. We train our carers both in general techniques as well as individual strategies with children. We are an approved provider for PROACT-SCIPr-UK and Intensive Interaction to support communication as well as help our young people recognise when they are giving their carers a challenge and encouraging them to behave in a more socailly acceptable way.
Being a foster carer is a professional career and encourage all our carers to undertake and complete the Diploma in Fostering, which we fully fund.
When our carers have their first child placed with them, it is a Government requirement that they start the TDS (Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care) to complete within 12 months. This covers all the basic competences of care. All carers need to demonstrate a practical working knowledge of these skills, primarily to safeguard children and ensure that they are delivering the best possible care.
Credo Care provides training sessions delivered by our own staff and external professionals. These cover a broad range of subjects such as sign language, care of children with high medical needs and autism-specific training. Many of the sessions are an essential requirement of Fostering services: national minimum standards. We listen to our foster carer's views and arrange training sessions which they request, sometimes on an individual basis.
We align our allowance rates to each tier of training that our carers achieve, as follows: Entry level, TDS and then Diploma in Foster Care.
Find out more on our Learning and Development page.
Our foster carers attend support groups which run every month at a conveninet location or by interacitve online meeting. These forums give carers the opportunity to share dilemmas and challenges and provide advice to others. Unique to our agency, the shared experience of fostering disabled children and the discussions help to create a network of peer support and encouragement.
To provide time for our carers to have a break with their families, Credo Care offers an allowance of three weeks 'holiday cover' every year. The main carer will still receive their weekly allowance, whilst the child goes to stay with one of our other foster families. Some of our carers choose not to use the holiday scheme and keep their children with them all year. In this case the unused allowance can be used by the main carer to pay for the child's holiday.
Credo Care arranges fun days and outings for families and staff to get together - a great opportunity to get to know each other in a relaxed and informal setting. These will be provided considering social distancing requirements going forward.
We also hold support groups for the birth children of our carers, which are during school holidays and usually activity based. It is good for the children to meet up to share views about fostering, but mainly to have a good time.
Credo Care has high expectations for the standards of care delivered by our carers and staff. We have standards, policies and procedures which we expect all staff, social workers and carers to comply with. These are based upon the requirements of the Fostering Regulations and the Fostering services: national minimum standards. A carer's handbook is provided at approval and is a handy guide to the role.
The young person will have a Care Plan which is made by the placing Local Authority and is shared with the carers and Credo Care. This details the arrangements for the placement and how this will be provided and by whom. A Placement Agreement is drawn up by our staff in consultation with the carers, which puts this plan into action and provides a basis to identify outcomes for the child which need to be achieved in the placement.
The 'Looked-After-Child' (LAC) Review is arranged by the placing social worker for the child and has an independent chairperson appointed by the Local Authority. This may be held in the carer's home or other venue, and is an opportunity for everyone involved in the young person's life to discuss and agree the arrangements for the placement, and how the child can be helped to improve their life chances. This will review the Care Plan to see what is and is not working and make plans for the remainder of the placement.