Our wonderful team of Therapeutically Led Care foster carers provide all the benefits of regular foster care and therapy for children who’ve suffered abuse and trauma and also to young people with behavioural issues. Our TLC foster carers have extensive training and support to help the most damaged children and young people. The work is demanding, but the rewards are endless. Could you be a TLC foster carer?
- Adaptable - your down-to-earth, flexible approach to helping children and young people with specific needs will be invaluable, as will your sense of humour and determination
- Emotionally robust - sometimes, even for those who've worked in fostering for years, hearing about the experiences of children and young people, coming in to care, can be hard to comprehend. When they arrive at your home, it could be the first time they've experienced a safe and nurturing environment, free from threat or abuse and this may result in the young person 'testing' you and your commitment with negative behaviours. We need carers who can stick with these children and young people, even when the going gets tough, so as not to repeat the pattern of the placement breakdowns which they may well have experienced before. For the young person's sake, you will need to be emotionally robust and make full use of the support offered by Blue Sky
- Previous careers and life experience - you may think your former career as a member of the armed forces, a plumber, a sales assistant or a hairdresser won't have much bearing on your role as a foster carer, but you'd be quite wrong! Our foster carers draw on the practical skills, knowledge and experiences they've gained during their working life. The majority of TLC carers are brand new foster carers and they are guided and supported by the TLC team throughout their journey in to foster carer
- Here at Blue Sky, we'll complement your working and life experience skills with training geared to your needs and to the needs of your TLC foster child or young person
- Sense of humour - your TLC child or young person will test you and push boundaries, for sure. They'll also pull at your heartstrings; there's no doubt about that! Your good sense of humour will help you, not just as a way of coping with the demands fostering brings, but also to diffuse tricky situations
Even in its infancy, we knew our Therapeutically Led Care programme would have a major, positive, impact, not only on the lives of our children and young people, but also on the lives of our foster carers.
For children aged 11 and under, our TLC carers offer a therapeutic programme, using a range of theories including 'PACE', the 'House Model of Parenting' and 'Trauma Recovery Theory', to name but a few. Usually, the children will remain with the foster carer on a long term basis, allowing them to grow, develop and achieve emotionally. These children really do need help to heal their emotional wounds and the results are incredible. Our TLC team gives them the foundation to be self-reliant and contented young people.
The TLC programme for young people aged 12 and older focuses on specialist behaviour management, alongside linking in with the theories mentioned above. Some young people are shattered by volatile home lives and lack the security good parenting offers. Some are vulnerable and get in with the 'wrong crowd', leading them in to crime, child sexual exploitation, and/or substance abuse. They need a period of stability where they can learn new skills and be helped to make positive changes to their lives. These placements are, usually, highly intensive for the first year and then we hope the young person will remain with you when they are ready for a less intensive package of support. At times, this work is time limited and focus might be for the young person to be rehabilitated home. On these occasions, the placement may be around 9 - 12 months.
Both programmes are interchangeable, for example a 15 year old may need the programme usually aimed at younger children – we just tailor the programme to meet the needs of the child or young person. That’s the beauty of the TLC programmes; they’re flexible and responsive, allowing change as needed and the results are amazing.
In return for your dedication to the child or young person in your care, we offer additional support from our therapeutically qualified management team, extensive training, an enhanced allowance for you and weekly reflective practice meetings (either as a small group or 1:1). Also, there is a dedicated individual worker for your TLC foster child or young person.
TLC is providing foster care and therapy together, to transform the lives of children and young people