We are delighted to announce that our pioneering Therapeutic Pathway training programme has been recognised by City & Guilds in an industry first.
The programme has been designed to equip our foster parents with all the specialist tools and knowledge they need to provide their young people with the best therapeutic care.
The course, which has been curated by our Head of Therapy, Dr. Suzannah Hill, focuses on helping foster parents to understand the impact of difficult early experiences and trauma. It will give foster parents knowledge on how trauma impacts brain development and relationships, and the different ways that it may manifest in a young person such as anger or disassociation.
The Therapeutic Pathway also supports foster parents to develop and build upon their reflective and relational skills, both as individuals and as a peer support community. For those foster parents who wish to enrich their therapeutic impact, the course supports trainees to develop further and use play therapy techniques with the children they care for.
Dr Hill describes the course as ‘experiential, skills and relationship-based learning which is emotive and community-led’ which was created by asking foster parents what and how they wanted to learn. She also described the course as sharing a culture of practice, harnessing and building upon the community’s care-giving instincts, curiosity and ethos.
The full course is completed over a four-to-five-year period and has gone through the City & Guilds Assured Process, achieving this status through its six benchmarking processes to ensure continuous development.
The course’s status demonstrates its exceptionally high level of content and bespoke delivery methods, so our foster parents can feel confident that they will be equipped with the knowledge needed to best support the children in their care therapeutically.
Supporting foster parents through our therapeutically-informed training is a part of what makes ISP different. Our training isn’t just about theory and strategies, but also about providing our foster parents with skills and a strong collaborative community they will need to put all this into practice.
This course, made in collaboration with foster parents, is about offering the best possible training and support to foster parents, so that they, in turn, can offer the best possible support to our children and young people.
We are so proud of all the hard work the team has put into this and it’s fantastic to be recognised by City and Guilds.
The Therapeutic Pathway has been broken down into two distinct stages:
- Stage one teaches foster parents about self-awareness, communication, and the part they play in a healing relationship. It also helps them realise how they can put those skills into practice with a focus on how trauma may manifest in behaviour and relationships.
- Stage two is about weaving all the skills and knowledge together, plus introducing therapeutic play and how they can use those techniques with the children and young people in their care.
We've received excellent feedback since launching the training programme - some who’ve been fostering for many years and some who are new to it - all agree that the training has been invaluable.
One ISP foster parent said: “I’ve been fostering for 28 years, and almost retired. This training is the best I have ever done and has inspired me to keep going, a new lease of life. It’s so much more than training, I’ve learned so much about myself, and everyone else, we come together and support each other - it takes a village!”
Another foster parent, who has recently joined ISP said: “This was our first workshop with ISP so it was a bit daunting - we were made to feel at ease in a friendly welcoming atmosphere. It was an interesting topic which made you look at yourself without being judgemental in any way.”