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Support Group Circle

Stepping Stones College

Families in Care Training Team, together with the generosity of the Tudor Trust have now established Stepping Stones College, a training unit offering birth parents and social work students an opportunity to learn and develop in a truly meaningful and unique way. Between October and July, every Friday during term time, our enthusiastic team is meeting up, learning together about matters important to us.

The learning material is grouped into themes of wellbeing, social work practice, public speaking and peer mentoring.

Educational sessions are followed by Reflective College discussions. At the end of the year parents who have completed full training prepare and facilitate their own individual sessions for the group.


Learning and Development Sessions Themes (examples);

Wellbeing and growth;

Public Speaking;

Peer Mentoring;

Social Work Practice;

Parent Learners’ Individual Sessions on Chosen Topics



Students described the sessions as eye opening, helping them gain a greater understanding of the complexities facing birth parents at a time when they are undergoing professional assessment and court hearings.

Student’s values were challenged by the content of the sessions as they questioned their assumptions about parents involved in the safeguarding process.

Support Group
Woman with Hijab


Birth Parents

Parents said that they had noticed an increase in their awareness of social work policy and practice, as well as a huge boost of confidence, self-esteem and positive feelings by being involved in something so meaningful i.e. the education of future social workers.

Parents said the sessions were inspiring and motivating, encouraging them to consider a return to education and employment.

Both Students and Birth Parents

Both sides reported gaining an insight into each other's perspective and experience, and leaving the sessions enriched, more reflective and mindful of the significance of healthy curiosity, kindness and willingness not only to listen, but most importantly – to hear.

Fist Bump
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