The preparation for adult life is a marathon not a sprint and for most people the process begins pre-school.
For fostered children however, the experience can be very different.
Depending upon the age that a young person becomes looked after, their journey may be truncated and life skills, out of necessity, can sometimes be hastily undertaken.
The Foster Care Co-operative (FCC) life skills training programme has been created to supplement a Pathway Plan, which is a care plan provided by a local authority detailing the services and support required by young people aged 16 to 21 years. It is a structured and interactive resource to enable FCC’s foster carers to work with their young people according to their age and understanding.
This programme, a year in the making, has been developed using the experiences of young people and FCC foster carers using resources, including local authority programmes that have a proven track record and are user friendly.
An integral part of the programme is a tangible acknowledgement of the young person’s progress in their skills development.
The programme is issued one module at a time and a certificate of achievement presented to mark the progress and understanding shown by the young person.
Throughout the programme the user is encouraged to gather information for themselves using links and QR codes that are provided in the pack.
At the end of each section additional information and exercises are provided according to the individual’s needs and capabilities. For example, the person who needs more help with money management will receive additional resources about that. It is very much a collaboration between foster carer and child, and promotes ownership of the young person’s development. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ checkbox programme.
The whole package is designed to easily evolve and develop according to the needs of the person using it – along with future changes to legislation.
FCC’s Director of Childcare, Anne Bard, said: “The programme is an innovative and interactive way of working with young people to enhance and hone their skills ready for independence.”
A big thank you to our Transitions and Leaving Care Adviser, Pete Johnson, for his time in developing this piece of work. Also another big thank you to our Director of Childcare, Anne Bard, for devising this programme.