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Tanya, HSC Foster Carer, shares her thoughts on online training

6th July 2020

During this unprecedented time in line with government guidelines we have seen all face to face training across Adoption and Foster Care paused temporarily.

HSC Northern Ireland have over 50 online training courses available to our Foster Carers and Adoptive Parents. We encourage all Foster Carers and Adopters to take part in this training to make sure you can still learn new skills despite the current pandemic. Please click here to view all the resources and remember to tell your supervising social worker if you complete any training to update your records.

Tanya, a HSC Foster Carer has taken part in some online training and she has shared some of her views.

*Please note: this image is not of  the young people
in Tanya’s care to help protect their identities.


My name is Tanya, I have been a short term Foster Carer since 2017.

What are the benefits of learning & development opportunities for you as a Foster Carer? 

When working with children and young people in any sort of capacity, we should all be making a conscious effort to remain relevant and effective.  To do this continuous training is required to get the best outcomes using current research.  Working with children, legislation and research changes quite rapidly.

Can you tell me about the online sessions you have completed and what you plan to complete? 

Since lockdown I have completed numerous courses, such as ‘The effects of Foetal Alcohol Disorder’, ‘Special Educational Needs: supporting children and their parents’, ‘Our Legacy of Love Cherishing Connection’ and much, much more.

I am currently doing the ‘Communication Trust – Speech, Language & Communication course’.

I plan to complete: ‘Resilience documentary; The Impact of Loss & Separation on Children and Families’; ‘Outdoor Play; Level 2 ACES’ and ‘Trauma’.

What did you enjoy about completing online sessions what are the benefits of online training?

Online training is fantastic.  I have done so much more this year than ever.  Basically because it has been available and accessible at a time that suits me on a majority of occasions.  You also get access to professionals who normally wouldn’t do online training before.  Grab a cuppa, get comfortable and off you go.  It has also allowed me to tap into training I might not have thought of before because of cost, however most providers have waived the cost at the moment or offered reasonable reductions.

Are there any drawbacks to online learning and development for you?

You miss the group chats with peers which can sometimes be as beneficial as the actual training.  I have used many different learning platforms.  Webinars, pre recorded, courses with module tests, Zoom etc. Some courses are quite time consuming and there is no certificate, however if you let your supervising social worker know, you can get your recognition for such courses.

Is there a sense of need for both online and face-to-face learning; what are your views?

I am flexible and self motivated so don’t really see a problem, only that you miss the social aspect sometimes in the face-to-face learning.

What would you like to tell other foster carers thinking about online learning & development, have you any tips?

Decide on an area of training you would like to do that might be of interest or a requirement.  Set yourself targets (SMART) and once you get one course completed check out another one.  Before you know it you will have several done.

Your training file will look better and your self-esteem will be elevated as well.  Important to remember in these times!


Are you a Foster Carer or Adoptive parent with HSC Northern Ireland Adoption & Foster Care? Click here to view the online training resources. Remember to tell your supervising social worker once you complete a course to keep your training record up to date.

Last week we spoke with Orla, a kinship Foster Carer. Click here to read what she had to say about online training.