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Mumsnet Questions – The TSD Workbook

Here at ISP we strive to make the process to become a foster parent as easy as possible, and then continue to support you throughout your time with us. We know how hard it can be, as we are a team of experienced foster carers that have been through the process ourselves. It is with this in mind that we began to look into your biggest problems and questions about becoming or being a foster parent.

August 18 2020 - 4 min read

Three children running among Christmas trees with foster parents in the background - MumsNets

Here at ISP we strive to make the process to become a foster parent as easy as possible, and then continue to support you throughout your time with us. We know how hard it can be, as we are a team of experienced foster parents that have been through the process ourselves. It is with this in mind that we began to look into your biggest problems and questions about becoming or being a foster parent.

From now on we’ll be writing a weekly feature that brings you the best expert advice from people at our agency. These are people who have had years of experience and can cut through your confusion, answering your questions in a way that is clear and easy to understand. This can help you do what you really want to, which is to care for children and young people.

Do you have an idea about what we should cover next week? Why not email us enquiries@ispchildcare.org.uk

Top Ten Tips for filling in the TSD Workbook

The Training, Support and Development (TSD) Standards Workbook must be completed by all new carers within the first year of their care experience. It can often be very daunting at first glance, but below are our top ten tips to getting through it as smoothly as possible.

  1. Take a deep breath. It looks long, but we promise that it is worth completing. It will also help you to see the amazing things you’ve already done to help children and young people, by considering your own experiences and the way you have enacted the values that are essential to fostering.
  2. Make sure you have all the provided guidance. There are lots of guides on the government website. Make sure you get copies of each of these, and read them before you get started. This should answer most of your questions!
  3. There is no single right answer. The workbook is meant to be a personal reflection of you and your journey. If your answer is short or long, that’s okay. Just answer it however you think is best for you. Remember though, some questions have to be answered accurately if they involved the standards for fostering eg Children Act, Safeguarding, Household hazards etc
  4. The questions are not there to trick you. As someone who has been a carer for the past year, it is likely you have easy answers to many of the questions! It just might take some time to put them into words.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your agency can break the workbook down for you so that it’s easier to use. ISP provide each carer with a folder which incorporates the workbook but in a simpler manner so it makes more sense to our carers, your agency may have done the same, so don’t worry about asking them.
  6. Give yourself plenty of time to fill in the workbook. It can be hard to fill it out in one go, so why not make time to sit down several times in one week to complete it. If you can’t think of an answer right away, skip that question and come back to it another time.
  7. If you and your partner foster together, then you have to fill in the workbook together. This can make it easier with twice the experiences to call upon as examples.
  8. If you can’t remember, why not ask your friends? You may not be able to remember a time when you taught your foster child a life skill, for example, but your friend might. Talking through it with someone you know might help to jog your memory or help you to put it into words.
  9. And lastly, don’t panic! Here at ISP we offer carer lunches where you can sit with a fostering advisor and go through it with them, so if all else fails, you can literally go through each and every answer with them.

If you’re at this point, then the likelihood is that fostering is important to you, and the thought of filling out this booklet might seem scary, but that’s what we’re here for. This booklet is not here to measure how well you care for a child, we know nothing can measure that, but it’s something the government requires (this was a concern in the forum).