Management &
Leadership Training

Fostering Training

dialogue offers leadership and management training focused on those working with children in care. Managers and senior leaders can access courses tailored to the needs of those working with children in care.

Our courses feature strongly reflective themes and are delivered by highly experienced social care managers. In these challenging times we have adapted our delivery to highly interactive online courses. See below for course availability and further details.

NAFP have begun working with dialogue to provide training opportunities for all individuals working within the Fostering community.

We are going to be running courses in your area soon, please browse this page for full details and booking enquiries.


We will be running courses regionally covering a range of management related subjects. NAFP has negotiated a 25% discount for our members on these courses.

You are able to book, request further information or simply express interest in the courses.

view course availability


Dialogue has been delivering some very well received Responsible Individual training and has a range of training focused on the needs of managers and leaders of children’s homes.

“Highly informative and will be transferred into learning, a few emails were sent at lunchtime off the back of this training!”

“A fantastic opportunity for self-reflection and really inspired a couple of pages of notes of things I am excited to do. Having this info is very valuable.”

Feedback from RIs

For more information or a discussion about your training needs, please indicate this in your registration form  or contact us.

online training

We’ve adapted many of our courses to become highly interactive Zoom-based training programmes split into several sessions over a period of time. Current courses available to book include:


This series of six 2-hour sessions (the equivalent of a 2-day course) explores the role and builds the skills of Responsible Individuals.

The sessions cover the role, approaches to quality assurance, leadership, culture, regulation and building young people’s participation. The course runs ‘stand-alone’, or delegates can opt to complete a portfolio with tutorial support (additional cost).

This programme is designed for both experienced individuals and those less experienced in this role.

The Course:

Session 1-  Introduction, approach & key questions
Session 2- Assessing the quality of care
Session 3- Safeguarding
Session 4- Quality assurance & children’s involvement
Session 5- Workforce & partners
Session 6- Using research & development

Participants can opt to complete a portfolio with tutorial support. The assignments provide useful evidence for Ofsted on your continuing personal development, but more importantly offers an opportunity to reflect on the role with personal support and challenge.

The Trainer:

Chris Freestone has worked with young people across health, education and social care. She began as a paediatric nurse becoming a nurse lecturer at Exeter College, then retrained in education culminating in a post as the head teacher at the Dame Hannah Rogers Trust – a school for young people with the most complex health needs. In between she has fitted in work as the director of an independent fostering agency and as a lead inspector for CSCI and with Ofsted. Chris has a strong footing in reflective, challenging practice and encourages participants to explore their experience, compare these to the requirements of the regulatory and inspection framework and take action that is right for young people.


The pressures on fostering managers to make the right decision for children and young people is significant. Safeguarding training is crucial and a requirement for all staff, but stops at identifying concerns and notification. Foster carers who have identified concerns bring them to their leaders, managers and deputies who require a higher level of training.

This course supports those staff to

  • enhance safeguarding analysis skills,
  • write effective referrals,
  • communicate with local authorities,
  • use escalation processes,
  • contain staff and organisational anxiety,
  • focus on regulatory requirements, while
  • keeping the focus very firmly on the young person.

Our course empowers leaders and managers to review their safeguarding culture and strategy, consider the underpinning models of risk assessment, reflect on professional bias and develop curiosity, develop skills in root cause analysis and incident review and develop a plan to improve their home. The course briefly attends to aspects of mental capacity (for 16+) and adult safeguarding (for 18+) that are relevant for children’s practitioners.

The Course:

Session 1

Introduction, scene setting, review of safeguarding culture and strategy and the challenges in holding all aspects of the role.

Session 2

Managing risk and assumptive risk models, recognising and managing bias and using professional curiosity.

Session 3

Strategic management and reflection- Root cause analysis, incident analysis, review

Session 4

Developing a safeguarding strategy going forward, adult safeguarding

Learning in practice

Participants will be asked to complete a task between sessions – please allow up to an hour to complete this work. Over the course this will build into a strategic review of safeguarding in your service(s) with a resultant action plan. Hold this and the resources from this programme in your DSL folder as evidence of training and review/ reflection.

The programme will support you with a wide range of resources and the opportunity to meet others, share practice. We will also define and review the tensions and challenges in the strategic role.

The Trainer:

Chris Freestone leads on regulatory work for dialogue. She has been a nurse and nurse lecturer, lecturer at Exeter College and head teacher at the Dame Hannah Rogers Trust, the director of an independent fostering agency and a lead inspector for CSCI and Ofsted. A highly regarded leader with real belief in the work, Chris brings a compassionate but calmly analytic presence and has the ability to get alongside both vulnerable people and senior managers to explore their experience, compare these to the requirements of the regulatory and inspection framework and set a plan to help managers reach decisions that further improve their service.


Our supervision course now runs as four online half-day sessions or can be delivered in two days at your venue. It aims to equip supervisors with the skills and confidence to support and challenge carers to better understand risk and the quality of work being undertaken with children and families.

The Trainer:

Ruby Parry is a registered social worker who started her career in children’s residential care, and has subsequently spent over 40 years working in the social care profession, 30 of those in the public sector. Ruby has worked in most roles in social work including 8 years as Assistant Director of Children’s Services in 2 local authorities, before moving to the private sector in 2010.

As a social care consultant Ruby has designed and delivered safeguarding training to Ofsted, carried out a range of safeguarding and other Reviews, and in 2016 became Interim Director of Children’s services then Director of Communities for the States of Guernsey. Health and Social Care committee. She currently provides ongoing mentoring to the Head of Service there and is the Agency Decision Maker for their Permanence Panel. Ruby has worked in residential care with children with challenging behaviour, and has designed and transformed residential services at a strategic level.  She has also worked with and supervised staff with challenging behaviour and uses this wealth of experience to inform her training and coaching work…..with humour, humility, and a touch of hard earned wisdom!

The Course:

Learning aim. Participants will:

  • Leave the course able to responding effectively to keep children safe and ensure staff are treated fairly.

Learning outcomes. Participants will:

  • Determine the difference between a complaint, quality of care issue & an allegation
  • Make analytic and effective referrals to the LADO
  • Undertake internal investigations in line with interagency guidance
  • Participate effectively in strategy discussions
  • Make proportionate and evidenced decisions about suspension
  • Work positively with young people, parents and other agencies
  • Lead work under disciplinary and capability procedures
  • Receive a copy of dialogue’s template managing allegations procedure and tools

The Trainers:

Anthony Goble has an extensive career in human resources across a number of local authorities. He managed the HR service for schools for several years before moving into the role of Designated Officer. With 10 years experience in this role Anthony has a comprehensive understanding of child protection processes and employment procedures.

John Woodhouse has worked to a senior level in local authorities managing children in care and child protection services. He has led complex staff and carer investigations and worked with organisations to reinvigorate a stronger safeguarding mindset and culture across their teams.

something else…

We love working with organisations to develop bespoke packages. Complete the form below to talk to us about your training needs, planning a response to an inspection report or providing individual coaching and mentoring, or call on (01803) 493030.