Friendship Training

Friendship focussed training for short break carers

In order to provide a short break service that supports young people to spend time with their chosen friends it is crucial that carers are motivated and feel supported to facilitate these friendships. Short breaks carers will benefit from a training programme which reflects this changing role.

Case studies based on practice provide a useful focus for the short breaks worker who is taking a young person out with a friend, working in partnership with another short breaks carer, encouraging young people to negotiate or take turns, and manage health and safety.

‘I think it’s about takin’ a step back and just being there when needed, rather than being the main event.’ – short breaks carer

You will find a wealth of resources in the friendship training for short breaks carers booklet designed to promote awareness and train your carers to feel confident and inspired to support their young people to make new friends or use their short break as an opportunity to meet up with existing friends.

How you can use the training

The friendship training is designed to be bespoke so that you can use any activity that feels relevant, whether this is part of preparation for carer training, support group activity or supervision session.

The ‘Perfect Day’ activity was particularly popular with our pilot group, acting as an ice-breaker while at the same time reminding everyone how important friendship is in the lives of ourselves and the disabled young people we support.

Using the training films

You will see a film on this page. This is a short film produced in partnership with City of York Council short breaks team. It was made in response to a pilot training with a group of community short break carers who said they would really like to see a friendship inclusive short break ‘in action’.

The film tells the story of young people in York who meet up with each other as a regular activity during their short breaks and works well when shown at the beginning of a training session. The inclusion in the film of inspiring interviews with York’s short breaks team leader and a children’s social worker, will provide a useful contribution to short break team meetings and generate discussion about how inclusive your service currently is.

Friendship focussed training for foster carers

The training booklet, (Friendship for All Training for Foster Carers) contains a bespoke collection of activities and handouts that can be used in the different contexts:

  • activities to be used in supervisions sessions when it seems relevant to the carer and their young person
  • handouts that can be given to all your carers or selectively shared when issues in relation to friendship are raised
  • group activities and case studies for discussion to be used to complement the Skills to Foster training
  • group activities that can be used as part of on-going training and development

Training, support and development (TSD) standards for foster care

The training can be used to evidence that you carers have met the TSD standards. In particular the standards:

  • 2.3 – Relationship with parents and others
  • 5.2 – Resilience
  • 5.4 a, b and c – Supporting play activities and learning
  • 5.6 b – Understanding contexts