Learning and Development for Foster Carers

Surrey Children's Services Academy - Achieving the best outcomes for Surrey's children and families through learning and development activities that grow a highly skilled and confident workforce.

Our learning and development offer

Surrey Children's Services Academy has learning and development opportunities to provide you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to undertake your role as a Foster Carer. This page will guide you through the opportunities available to you.

The offer includes over 400 training courses. You can access the course list and training pathway through the Surrey Fostering Online Community Hub on SharePoint.

Please discuss your learning needs with your Supervising Social Worker.

If you need help to find or enroll on a course, please email surreychildrens.academy@surreycc.gov.uk and we will be happy to help. Please let us know in advance if you have any specific learning needs and require adjustments to be made by the trainer.


OLIVE Learning management system

Surrey County Council Foster Carers use Olive to register for many of the instructor led and e-learning courses. An account will be set up for you. Once you have received your log in details you will be able to view, book and receive notifications about courses.

Visit Olive – Learning Management System

How to guides for Olive and the Training Hub are available on the Surrey Fostering Online Community Hub on SharePoint.


Surrey fostering online community

Surrey County Council Foster Carers will have access to the Fostering Online Community Hub on SharePoint. The Hub includes everything you will need to develop your skills and experience.


Online learning platforms

Our learning platforms give you access to a wide range of publications, podcasts, webinars, blogs and policy updates to support you in your role as a Foster Carer.

Research in Practice learning platform

Research in Practice shares evidence-informed information to help you to understand and apply evidence in your work with children, young people and families.

How to register

Click the link to register for Research in Practice. If you have any questions regarding how to sign up please contact Research in Practice.

Care Knowledge Learning Platform

Care Knowledge gives you access to a professional body of information to support you in your practice and professional development, as well as keeping you up to date.

How to register

Click the link to register for Care Knowledge. If you have any questions regarding how to sign up please contact Care Knowledge.


Surrey Virtual Schools – Training and events

Virtual Schools for children in care exist throughout the country to improve educational outcomes of care experienced children and young people. The Surrey Virtual School (SVS) is not a 'bricks and mortar' school but a local authority team who bring together the data and information about children and young people who are cared for by Surrey LA as if they were in a single school. That way, their progress can be closely tracked and supported, and interventions can be targeted in a more strategic way.

Surrey Virtual School offers a programme of training and events for designated teachers, school governors, foster carers, social workers, early years and post 16 settings throughout the year.

To find out more about the offer and to access training and development from the team please visit Surrey Virtual School.


Fostering homepage

If you are not registered as a Foster Carer and would like to find out more, please visit Fostering homepage.

Over and above the statutory training required to be a foster carer in the UK, Surrey County Council is proud to provide a rich and comprehensive offer for your ongoing learning and development, whether you are a new foster carer or someone who is more experienced in the role.

If you would like to apply to become a Foster Carer for Surrey, visit Surrey jobs.


Fostering allowances

As a Foster Carer, your weekly allowance will increase with your level of skill from the training you have completed. To find out more about the foster allowances, please visit Fostering allowances.


Training support and development standard

Standard 20 of the National Minimum Standards for Foster Carers focuses on the learning and development of foster carers.
See more on the government website about Training Support and Development Standards for Foster Carers.

Surrey provides a wealth of training for its carers both face to face and virtual. Support Groups facilitated by the service often have a learning element. Some training is completed alongside colleagues from across the service or is specifically for foster carers. In Surrey, the skills payment paid to a carer relates to the amount of training they have attended. All the information you need about progression through the levels can be found in the Learning and Development Training Pathway on the Surrey Fostering Online Community Hub on SharePoint.

All approved foster carers are supported to complete the Training, Support and Development Standards within 12 months of approval (or within 18 months for family and friends foster carers). A support group facilitated by a foster carer is held monthly to support carers through this. Links to the government site providing this information, including the workbooks to be completed is below.

Foster Carers also need to maintain an ongoing training and development portfolio (20.4) which demonstrates how they are meeting the skills required of them by the fostering service.

Standard 20.5 details how a foster carers personal development plan (discussed within the Annual Review) will be supported to undertake ongoing training and development that is appropriate to their development needs, experience and the needs of the child being cared for.


Contact us

For further information on Learning and Development for Surrey County Council Foster Carers, please email us: surreychildrens.academy@surreycc.gov.uk In the subject of the email, please include what the enquiry relates to.

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