Groundbreaking fostering sector partnership

Three well established fostering agencies have come together in a groundbreaking move to improve fostering standards across the sector.

The Children’s Family Trust, The Foster Care Co-operative and Community Foster Care have joined forces in an unprecedented move to offer unique training that will cut costs and fully prepare foster care staff for the unique task of managing a fostering organisation. ‘Skyrocket’ is the resulting joint venture.

There is an abundance of very good ‘one size fits all’ management courses available – but nothing that actually prepares foster care managers for the unique task of running a foster care organisation. So much so, that managers have sometimes had to struggle and learn the specifics of their role as they go.  Skyrocket’s driving focus is to ensure that the key elements of regulation, administration, contracting, leadership and HR are delivered within the context of fostering.

Recognising the reality that time for Fostering Managers is very limited it was agreed to provide an approach that delivered key priorities, aide-memoires and signposted resources, in order to deliver a Fostering Registered Manager’s ‘toolkit’ for future reference.  This approach, targeted for potential or newly appointed Registered Managers, shares and develops the experience of those in post, who have often had to ‘find their way’.  This is achieved by providing a clear overview of the specific responsibilities, practical priorities and delivery methods of what can seem an overwhelming number of pressing priorities.  The entire course has been designed and will be delivered by experienced current Registered Managers and Fostering Chief Executives to meet the needs they know are required.

Additionally, the course provides senior business managers within an agency the opportunity to understand the structure and challenges that a Registered Manager faces. Attendees leave having developed insights, strategies and a professional peer group within the course, with a clear framework of fostering managerial skills. The CEO’s also offer a confidential free 6 month mentorship to any participant who wishes to benefit from the opportunity.

For further individual skills development, Skyrocket one day extension courses are also offered that concentrate on single subject areas such as Contract Tendering, HR and Business Management.

Ian Brazier, Executive Director of The Foster Care Co-operative, said: “Fostering focused Registered Manager training seems to be in very short supply.  We wanted to create something that would equip current and future managers with the right tools to manage their service from the off.  By streamlining a course agenda we cut out extraneous modules making the training relevant, engaging and delivered in a time frame that is sensitive to the work loads of the attendees.  We are currently delivering this course for the third 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 fostering sector.  The course was written by managers, for managers.”

Ian is also the current Vice Chair for The Fairer Fostering Partnership, formerly Fostering through Social Enterprise (FTSE) – an organisation that represents a group of charitable and not-for-profit fostering agencies across the UK.

Funds raised from Skyrocket are ploughed back into providing more foster carer support across the three agencies, as per their other income streams.

We here at The Children’s Family Trust are very proud to be involved in this groundbreaking partnership and hope that Skyrocket continues to grow and flourish.

To find out more about the course, visit www.skyrocket.org.uk

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