Advice & Guides

Parenting Courses through Fostering

Parenting any child is a profoundly rewarding yet challenging journey that can confound even the most experienced parents. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be tackled blindly.

Parenting courses provide invaluable knowledge, skills and strategies that can help you navigate the complexities of raising a child, effectively nurturing and supporting their development.

Who Needs Parenting Courses?

Whether you are an experienced parent or have never cared for a child before, parenting courses are for everyone. New parents or foster carers may find these courses to be an essential source of guidance, whilst seasoned parents can discover fresh strategies and adapt to the needs of their children. In this comprehensive guide, we have compiled everything you need to know about each of the parenting courses we offer.

Our Parenting Courses

At Compass, our courses for parents are tightly integrated with PACE parenting techniques. As a result, foster carers can gain practical strategies for turning these principles into everyday actions.

Therapeutic Parenting

Therapeutic parenting is a specialised approach to childcare with a focus on caring for children who have experienced significant neglect or trauma. This is achieved by zeroing in on their unique emotional and developmental needs. The approach emphasises building trust, promoting emotional regulation, and fostering a sense of security and healthy attachment between caregiver and child.

As the name suggests, therapeutic parenting involves a variety of therapeutic techniques, including establishing routines, setting clear boundaries, providing consistent and nurturing care, and fostering a safe and predictable environment. It also highlights the importance of empathy, validation and active listening in building stronger relationships with young people and kids.

By incorporating therapeutic strategies into your parenting approach, you can help children develop secure attachments, improve their self-regulation skills and enhance their overall well-being.

Skills to Foster

Before embarking on their fostering journey and gaining access to our other parenting resources, Compass foster carers are required to attend a 3-day Skills to Foster training course. This is a comprehensive programme designed to equip trainees with the tools they need to become exceptional foster parents.

The course covers a wide variety of topics and offers invaluable guidance that will be useful throughout the fostering journey. It also provides a multitude of benefits, including an improved understanding of the fostering process, development of effective communication, enhanced knowledge of child development, behaviour management techniques, and building resilience as a foster parent.

Once trainees have completed this course, they will then progress to our Induction Training modules that will further equip them with safeguarding knowledge.

Training Programme

At Compass, we will always provide you with the support you require.

Online Safety

In today’s digital era, it is critical for parents and caregivers to not only be aware of online grooming, but take practical steps to keep children safe. Online grooming refers to the process of building an emotional connection with a child with the intention of eventually exploiting or harming them.

It can occur through any online platform, including chat rooms, social media and gaming environments. Predators will often manipulate children by first attempting to gain their trust, gradually escalating conversations to inappropriate or harmful content, and ultimately seeking to exploit them.

Parent courses that cover online safety provide invaluable information on how to recognise the signs of online grooming, communicate with children about their online activities, and implement safety measures to protect children from potential dangers. They also teach parents how to access important tools on the platform, including privacy settings and parental controls, as well as how to teach children about consent.

Effective Communication and Discipline

Effective communication and discipline are essential components of positive parenting. They lay the foundation for healthy relationships, promote cooperation, and support children’s emotional and social development.

Especially when communicating with children, it’s important to emphasise active listening, set clear expectations, use positive language and promote open dialogue. These strategies can help parents to generate mutual respect, strengthen understanding and encourage children to express their feelings.

Our induction parenting courses often delve deeper into effective communication techniques, providing guidance on active listening, non-verbal communication and conflict resolution. They also address age-appropriate communication strategies and the importance of adapting communication styles to address the needs of every child. Finally, our parent courses aim to help foster carers understand the difference between discipline and punishment and effectively implement positive discipline into their care.

Emergency First Aid (including paediatric)

Especially when it comes to fostering, first aid courses are absolutely essential. Knowing what to do in an emergency is critical to ensuring the safety of the children in your care. Thankfully, Compass’ Emergency First Aid parenting course will provide you with the knowledge you need to tackle any dangers to your child’s safety.

Regardless of where you obtain your training, most emergency first aid courses will be extremely similar. What sets Compass apart, however, is that we also provide paediatric first aid training for people with infants.

Here is everything the course will cover:

  • First aid kits
  • How to report an accident
  • Recovery positions
  • Shock and bleeding
  • CPR
  • Asthma
  • Seizures
  • Choking
  • Burns and more
Secure Base Training

Derived from attachment theory and Compass’ REACH model, the Secure Base Model is a therapeutic form of caring/parenting with a focus on individual interactions between the child and caregiver.

A secure base is achieved through a stable relationship with one or more caregivers. These provide the child with a reliable foundation from which to explore and a safe haven for reassurance when facing difficulties. Once feeling appropriately safe, the child is finally able to develop confidence, competence and resilience.

During Secure Base training, trainees will consider the cycle of developing a secure base and explore the five elements of the model:

  • Being available
  • Responding with sensitivity
  • Accepting the child
  • Caring cooperatively
  • Promoting family memberships

Ultimately, the course is focused on discussing parenting strategies and approaches to help children become more secure in their attachments with their primary caregivers.

Managing Challenging Behaviour

If the child in your care is displaying challenging behaviour, it can be difficult not to become frustrated with them. Children in the foster care system in particular will often have a number of reasons to feel angry or upset. This is why it is so critical for foster parents to learn how to manage a child with challenging behaviour, creating a safe and secure environment in the process.

Some examples of challenging behaviour include, but are not limited to:

  • Aggression
  • Self-harm
  • Destructiveness
  • Disruptiveness

These behaviours are usually caused by a variety of factors including a lack of sleep, emotional upset, poor health and changes to routine. It’s important to note that whilst children may be acting in ways that you find frustrating, they are merely trying to communicate their feelings with you.

Through our parent courses, you will learn all about how to have open conversations with the child in your care and how to set important boundaries. You will also learn how to deal with situations calmly, whether through giving an effective speech or by offering your child a choice.

Parenting Disabled Children

A non-negotiable aspect of fostering is it requires a combination of specialised knowledge, understanding and support to create an inclusive and nurturing environment for a child. Thankfully, if you have a disabled child or young person in your care, we offer plenty of accessible resources to ensure you can provide them with the support they need.

Our family courses are also tailored to people caring for disabled children, covering essential topics including adaptive parenting techniques, specialised therapies, communication strategies, and understanding different disabilities along with their unique implications. These courses aim to equip you with the skills and knowledge to effectively support a child’s holistic development.

As a foster parent with Compass, you will also gain access to our foster carer support network, which helps to create a greater sense of community. You can even connect with other people fostering disabled children, who will be able to exchange helpful tips and provide a shoulder to lean on during challenging times.

What Are Additional Needs?

The term “additional needs” encompasses a range of conditions, including physical and intellectual disabilities, developmental delays and sensory impairments. In any case, however, fostering children with additional needs is understood to be significantly challenging. This is why it is so critical for parents and foster carers to be aware of the specific challenges and create inclusive environments for children.

ADHD Parenting Course & Autism Courses for Parents

If you are looking for autism courses for parents or ADHD parent training, Compass has also got you covered here. We can help you learn the difference between autism and ADHD and provide you with the support to manage them.

At Compass, in addition to autism training for parents, we also offer ADHD courses for parents to understand and manage these complex conditions. We can help you gain valuable insights into adaptive parenting techniques, strategies for promoting independence, creating sensory-friendly environments, and engaging with professionals and support networks.

Our parent training courses also cover important topics such as navigating the education system for children with additional needs, accessing therapy and intervention services, and advocating for the rights of the child or young person in your care. All of this is aimed at empowering parents and caregivers to actively participate in their child’s life, ensuring they receive the required support and resources.

Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy eating habits are essential for a child’s overall wellbeing and development. For foster children especially, establishing healthy eating patterns can be particularly beneficial, as they may have previously experienced nutrition disruptions or have specific dietary requirements.

When seeking to encourage healthy eating habits in children, parents and foster carers may face a number of challenges. These include helping children transition to new foods, addressing food insecurities, and accommodating special dietary restrictions. In these instances, positive role-modelling is extremely important, as is creating a supportive food environment.

During your induction training at Compass, you will learn all about how to promote healthy eating habits for the children in your care. Our family courses will help you understand their nutritional needs, introduce new foods, manage food pickiness, and promote the benefits of healthy eating. You will also receive information on where to go if you need any further assistance with your child’s eating habits.

Additional Therapeutic Parenting Courses

Dealing With Issues of Attachment and Trauma

Attachment is a fundamental aspect of child development that shapes a child’s emotional wellbeing and their ability to form healthy relationships in the future. There are various attachment styles to be aware of, such as:

· Secure attachment
· Anxious-ambivalent attachment
· Avoidant attachment
· Disorganised attachment

Each of these styles will have varying degrees of impact on a child’s behaviour, emotions and overall development.

Our Issues of Attachment and Trauma course delves deep into the topic of attachment and its significance when it comes to fostering. It provides caregivers with a fuller understanding of attachment theory, the factors that influence attachment patterns, and different strategies for promoting secure attachments with children.

The course equips caregivers with practical techniques to address attachment issues — including how to cope with bereavement — and ultimately build healthy relationships. These techniques may include creating nurturing and consistent routines, offering sensitive and responsive caregiving, promoting bonding activities and seeking professional support when needed.

In addition, our course provides guidance on recognising and addressing attachment-related behaviours, including separation anxiety, clinginess and difficulty trusting others.

Understanding Mental Health and Wellbeing


One of the most important responsibilities of any foster carer or parent is to care for a child’s mental health and wellbeing. This involves developing a keen understanding of their child’s mental health issues to not only nurture their emotional resilience, but support their ongoing development. For those interested in online parenting courses, there are many resources available to help you learn about mental health online. These enable you to recognise signs of mental health issues, access mental health services, encourage emotional literacy, and promote positive coping strategies.

At Compass, for instance, we offer our foster parents the Understanding Mental Health and Wellbeing parenting course. This provides them with invaluable insights into common mental health disorders that children face, including anxiety, depression and behavioural challenges. It also offers practical strategies for promoting resilience, building emotional intelligence, and creating supportive environments that prioritise mental wellbeing.

Finally, our course provides invaluable guidance on developing active listening skills and effective communication to enable children to express their emotions. We also touch upon self-care practices for our foster carers, highlighting the importance of their own mental health when supporting children.

Anger Management Courses

Anger is an all-consuming emotion, so it’s not unfair to assume that the child in your care might struggle with it at points and have intense emotional outbursts. Unfortunately, however, some children may experience these outbursts more than others if they come from a traumatic background. That’s why we not only offer parenting courses on how to manage anger, but also provide children with Compass therapy.

Learning to manage this emotion is critical for your child’s emotional wellbeing, as it helps prevent them from resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Our courses cover topics such as the causes of anger, key signs to look out for, anger vs aggression, how to identify when it becomes problematic, and effective anger management strategies for parents.

Positive Psychology and Resilience Building

Because many children come from traumatic backgrounds, it’s essential that they learn how to build resilience. As a foster carer or parent, a commendable goal is to guide your child towards a point where they can learn to grow from life’s many obstacles. This is where positive psychology and resilience building will often help.

By learning how to foster resilience in your child and actively implementing it, you promote a positive pattern of thoughts, behaviours and feelings. In this parenting course, expect to learn how to help your child develop a positive outlook for the future — setting goals, cultivating compassion and empathy. You will also learn to guide them in their understanding of what they can and cannot control in life.


UASC Training

UASC stands for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children — more specifically, children who have come from conflict zones or war-torn countries and are currently seeking a place of refuge in the UK. This means a majority of them have experienced extremely traumatic events. They are coping with their overwhelming emotions without familial support around them.

Consequently, those who are interested in UASC fostering will have to undergo a specific training course. The course covers important topics that are specific to what the child is going through, as well as in-depth therapeutic approaches to ensure they receive the quality of care they need. You will also receive resources on where to get help with the English language if needed and how to connect them with their culture and the wider community.

Cultural Awareness & Diversity

Cultural awareness and diversity parenting courses are specifically tailored for foster carers who are supporting children from diverse backgrounds. These courses aim to challenge racism and help you implement practical strategies strategies for children and young people to effectively cope with it. Foster carers will also gain insight into the racism children encounter on a daily basis and learn how to promote diversity, equality as well as their rights within wider society.

The course is also designed to help children maintain their cultural identity. Foster parents will need to examine their own preconceptions to ensure they can provide the support that the child needs. They will learn how to respect the child’s culture and find appropriate ways to integrate it into their home, helping the child feel more secure and welcome.

At Compass, we have incorporated our REACH approach and PACE parenting techniques into many of our courses for parents. This ensures that all of our foster carers can consistently meet the needs of our kids.

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