The Orb8 Therapeutic Foster Care Course is suitable for mainstream, specialist and therapeutic foster carers. It is based on Orb8’s unique model of practice which combines neurodevelopment, attachment and psycho-social theory. Each session consists of a Reflective Practice Group; a reflective case discussion and emotional checkin, a theory session with a reading and specially created power point and a practice skills session with lots of tips, suggestions and skills to enhance caring practice. There is also a reflective journal, regular ‘homework’ tasks to practice new skills at home and a case presentation. All the information, readings, power points and practice sheets for the course are provided in a workbook that each participant receives in advance.
The training is 15 sessions long and is offered from 9.45am for 10.00am to 2.30pm to work round school drop off and pick up times.
The venue is usually provided by the foster care agency and will be local to the carers.
There are 11 places in each cohort this will be mostly foster carers but must include at least one supervising social worker and some agencies include more social workers. This is to enable the agency and social workers to know and understand the material in the same way as the carers and to be able to support them in their ongoing practice.
Evaluation of the previous courses has been excellent and shown that Foster Carers really improve in their level of knowledge including neurodevelopment and attachment, they do things differently particularly in feeling more in tune with greater empathy, and consider the child’s previous experience and use this to understand them better. Communication between carers and children was reported as improved and children noticed that their carers were different and wanted to understand them. Carer’s said they were better at keeping calm and looking after themselves. Some carers who had thought about ending placements now felt more confident on meeting their child’s needs and keeping them with them. For more details please see the full evaluation report (PDF).
All Orb8 facilitators are professionally qualified to at least Masters level and have on average 20 years experience they all have substantial experience of training and facilitation and additional training and knowledge in respect of trauma, neurodevelopment and attachment. They will be matched to the specific course and participants.
Orb8 can offer an introductory programme to prepare less experienced carers to attend the course and broader therapeutic foster care services such as consultation, service development and policy alignment.
This model could also be flexed to be offered to residential carers, education, criminal justice and other social care staff and workers.