In just a few short years, our Therapeutically Led Care programme (TLC) has proved extremely successful and tremendously popular with local authorities seeking a specialist foster care home for looked after children and young people.
What is the Therapeutically Led Care programme (TLC)?
- TLC is separated into two fostering services. One service is tailored to children aged 12 or under, who are emotionally ‘frozen’ due to trauma, abuse or neglect and the other service is for older children/young people whose lives may not be taking a positive route.
- TLC foster carers looking after the children aged 12 and under will work alongside other professionals and, on occasions, the child’s birth family, helping the child to recognise their emotions and give them strategies for coping with them. Usually, these foster care placements are long term.
TLC foster carers looking after young people aged over 12 operate a ‘points and rewards’ system, designed to teach them new skills, to integrate into a family or return to live with their own family. This programme supports young people at ri sk and is usually a short term foster placement lasting a maximum of 12 months.
The TLC programmes for children and young people run alongside our ‘mainstream’ fostering service.
Life experience helps
There’s no doubt about it, fostering children and young people is a demanding task, but the personal rewards are immense.
You will need to be able to draw on your life experience and your own child care experience (gained through bringing up your own children or working with children in a professional or voluntary capacity).
We welcome enquiries from people aged 21 or over and there is no upper age limit. You will need to be physically and emotionally fit.
Think about your previous jobs
People come forward to foster from all sorts of backgrounds. From prison officers, to call centre operators, to teachers, nurses, care workers, farmers, plumbers, electricians and shop assistants. You name the job and one of our foster carers will have experience of it! We welcome the diversity of these roles and, undoubtedly, they enhance the experience of fostering for the children in their care.
What personal qualities do TLC foster carers need?
You’ll need to be positive, enthusiastic, pro-active, creative and resilient….oh…and a good sense of humour helps too!
Personal qualities are every bit as important as your child care experience. Fostering children with emotional needs or challenging behaviour can be taxing at times but with your personality, your ‘toolbox’ of training from Blue Sky and the support of our fully qualified and highly trained social workers, you can turn a child’s or young person’s life around. You could undo the damage they’ve experienced and help them succeed.
What support will I get when fostering?
Here at Blue Sky, we offer all our foster carers comprehensive support and training. We know that our investment in our foster carers enables them to offer children and young people the very best care and support.
We ask more of our TLC carers and, alongside the regular sessions with their Blue Sky social worker, local support groups, professional development and assistance from our education advisor, we offer them:
- Weekly therapeutic consultation/foster carer meeting
- An extra layer of training
- An enhanced weekly allowance
- Monthly clinical supervision
- Access to our therapeutically qualified, skilled and experienced management team
- Identified Support Worker/ Individual Worker for child in placement
How will I support my foster child or young person during their TLC Programme?
As a rule, children and young people coming into foster care have experienced instability or neglect or abuse. Sometimes all three and more besides. By offering them stability, security and consistent care you will give them back their childhood. They (and you) will have to adhere to firm, but fair, boundaries and you will need the ability to diffuse situations with a measured and calm approach. This is where your sense of humour will help, alongside the comprehensive training and support from Blue Sky. You are never alone, we are always available to help and advise, no matter what.