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Types of Training: Foster Caregivers and
Adoptive Parents

 

Preservice Courses for
Foster, Adoptive, & Kinship Caregivers
Foster Care Fundamentals Courses
Post Finalization Courses for
Adoptive Parents

PRESERVICE FOR FOSTER, ADOPTIVE, & KINSHIP CAREGIVERS

901-PS1-S: Orientation to Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care

This workshop provides an overview of the child welfare system and examines the differences between foster care, adoption, and kinship care.  Participants receive information about the needs of waiting children as well as the process of becoming a caregiver.

902-PS2-S: The Child Protection Team

This workshop discusses the history of foster care/adoption and examines the role of the foster/ adoptive/ kinship caregiver within that system.  Information is shared about the effective use of teams to serve children.

903-PS3-S: The Effects of Child Abuse or Neglect on Child Development

This workshop examines the dynamics of child maltreatment.  The trainer also seeks to develop empathy for the birthparent or caregiver who has abused or neglected a child.  Participants view a video about an abusive birthparent, and they explore factors that increase the likelihood of child maltreatment. This workshop gives participants an overview of normal child development and examines the impact of abuse and neglect on child development.

904-PS4-S: Attachment, Separation, and Placement         

This workshop demonstrates normal, healthy attachment and the impact on attachment of separation from primary parents, siblings, and other attachment figures.  Participants also learn methods to reduce the trauma to children who have experienced separations from significant others.

905-PS5-S: Managing Behavior

This workshop examines the reasons for behavioral problems among foster and adopted children.  The workshop also explains the agency policy regarding corporal punishment and the underlying reasons for that policy.  Finally, participants receive information on positive ways to manage behavior including natural and logical consequences, contracting, and rewards.

906-PS6-S: Preventing and De-escalating Crisis

This workshop explores the triggers that might generate feelings of anger or fear in the caregiver or the child, resulting in family conflict.  Techniques to resolve conflict through win/win, rather than win/lose, negotiation, will be presented and practiced.  Participants will learn strategies to prevent crisis from developing and will learn methods to de-escalate crisis, if necessary, while keeping all family members safe.

907-PS7-S: Cultural Issues in Placement

This workshop presents an overview of culture and the ways in which our values and codes of conduct are impacted by culture.  Participants learn to separate culture from race and learn to identify the many and complex ingredients of cultural identity.  Caregivers will also learn methods to more successfully parent a child from a culture different than their own.

908-PS8-S: Understanding Primary Families

This workshop provides information about the losses experienced by birth families, expected behaviors of grieving birth parents, and ways to work effectively with birth families along a continuum of contact.  A birth parent may speak to the training group about his or her experiences with the foster care system.

903-PS9-S: Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused

This workshop examines the definition and dynamics of sexual abuse of children.  The workshop also prepares prospective parents to develop an awareness of the characteristics of caregivers that lead to success in parenting children who have been sexually abused.

906-PS10-S: The Effects of Caregiving on the Caregiver Family

This workshop examines the impact of foster care/ adoption/ kinship care on the family system.  The workshop also enables prospective parents to develop effective coping strategies and survival plans. 

909-PS11-S: Permanency for Children

This workshop examines the effect of long-term separation from the birth family (either by adoption or long term foster care) on children.  The workshop will explain some “triggers” that may exacerbate difficulties of children experiencing these long-term separations.

909-PS12-S: Permanency for Families

This workshop examines the impact of adoption issues for adoptive parents on the family system.  The workshop also explores techniques of talking with the child(ren) about their adoptive status and difficult birth histories.  This workshop will present the typical stages of adoptive family adjustment following placement.  Finally, information about post adoption services is shared with prospective parents.

To wee when these modules are offered in your area, visit your Regional Training Center's (RTC) preservice training calendars.

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FOSTER CARE FUNDAMENTALS

923-FF2-S: Development of Infants and Toddlers: The Effects of Abuse and Neglect

Understanding how children develop is critical to effective parenting, especially for children in foster care. This workshop will review “normal” developmental patterns of children from birth through the toddler years. Cultural variations in typical development will also be explored.

Participants will explore the impact of abuse and neglect as well as separation from primary families on the development of infants and toddlers. The workshop will highlight various exceptional needs that some children and families face, including, but not limited to: fetal alcohol syndrome, failure to thrive, and Cerebral Palsy. This workshop will also provide participants with parenting tips and strategies to more effectively meet the needs of the infants and toddlers in their care, based on developmental levels. Being able to effectively communicate with other members of the child welfare team and advocating for the child will also be discussed.

923-FF3-S: Development of Preschoolers and School-Age Children: The Effects of Abuse and Neglect

Parenting is a 24-hour responsibility, full of demands, expectations and challenges for any parent.  For foster parents, the challenge is magnified by the special needs of children in out-of-home care.  Understanding how children develop from birth through adolescence is critical to affective parenting, especially for children in out-of-home care.  This workshop will review normal developmental patterns of children from preschool years through the elementary years of schooling, inclusive of variances in cultural norms, discuss the impact of abuse and neglect as well as out-of-home care on the development of children, and highlight various exceptional needs with which some children and families are faced.  This workshop will provide participants with parenting tips and strategies to more effectively meet the needs of the children in their care, based on developmental levels. Being able to effectively communicate with all involved in the child’s care and advocating for the child will also be discussed.

923-FF4-S: Development of Adolescents: The Effects of Abuse and Neglect

Parenting is a 24-hour responsibility, full of demands, expectations, and challenges for any parent.  For foster parents, the challenge is magnified by the special needs of the adolescents placed in their home.  Understanding how children develop from birth through adolescence is critical to effective parenting, especially for adolescents in out-of-home care.  This workshop will review “normal” developmental patterns of adolescence, inclusive of variations in cultural norms, and discuss the impact of abuse and neglect as well as out-of-home care on the development of adolescents. This workshop will also provide participants with parenting tips and strategies to more effectively meet the needs of the teens in their care, based on developmental levels. Being able to effectively communicate with all involved in the teen’s care (especially the teen) and advocating for the adolescent will also be discussed.

923-FF6-S: Recognizing and Responding to Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused

This workshop is designed for foster caregivers and adoptive parents who are caring for children who have been sexually abused. The workshop is offered with the understanding that many children in care, or who have been adopted, have not yet disclosed sexual abuse they have experienced. This workshop examines the definition and dynamics of sexual abuse of children. The training will examine the pervasive pathology existing within the sexually abusing home. The workshop develops understanding of the characteristics of caregivers that can best adjust to the needs children who have been sexually abused. Extensive parenting strategies, including strategies to prepare the home to receive children who have been sexually abused as well as strategies to enhance their ongoing care, will be presented.

924-FF7-S: Understanding and Building Attachment    (6 hours) 

This workshop focuses on the initiation and development of attachment in children, and is designed for licensed foster caregivers with placement experience.  The first half of the training distinguishes characteristics of secure attachment from those of insecure attachment, and provides information on how the crisis created by separation and placement impacts and is impacted by the child’s attachment pattern.  Because research demonstrates that the most consistent predictors of secure attachment are caregiver variables, the last half of the workshop presents a template for parenting children with insecure attachment.  Participants will be provided with case scenarios and asked to consider attachment patterns and formulate strategies to maintain/build attachment with their foster children.  This workshop can be presented in one six-hour session or two three-hour sessions.  If presented in two parts, trainees must commit to attend both sessions. 

925-FF8-S: Discipline in Foster Care: Managing Our Behaviors to Manage Theirs (6 hours) 

Behavior management with all children is much broader than simply stopping negative behaviors.  Discipline involves enhancing the caregivers’ ability to guide the child and enhance their self-esteem.  This workshop focuses first on understanding the caregivers’ overall style of parenting and their approach to children.  We will explore how changing the caregivers’ approach and parenting strategies will have impact on the child’s behavior.  It will be necessary to discuss the special issues of parenting a child who has a history of abuse or neglect.  Additionally, we will discus a few specific strategies to enhance the caregivers’ ability to individualize discipline to the needs and issues of each child.   

926-FF9-S: Foster Families and How They Grow:  Understanding the Effects of Fostering (6 hours)

This workshop, specifically designed for licensed foster caregivers in the early years of their foster care development, will assist foster caregivers in understanding and dealing with the challenges unique to fostering. New foster caregivers will learn about emerging roles and barriers to fulfilling those roles. The workshop will present stages of foster family adjustment and will explore the changing family relationships for everyone touched by the challenge of foster care. Finally, the workshop will identify stressors and assist foster caregivers in developing strategies to build a healthy fostering experience.    

926-FF10-S: Defusing Crisis Situations Safely and Sanely (6 hours) 

This workshop helps participants understand anger as an unmet need, identify the stages of a developing crisis and build corresponding de-escalation skills.  They will build their confidence about dealing with angry individuals.  Participants will learn to recognize the role of body language and personal space in defusing tense situations.  They will assess how their own values, expectations, responses to anger and personal temperament can defuse a situation or contribute to even greater escalation.

927-FF11-S: Cultural Issues in Foster Care: Dealing with the Dynamics of Difference

This workshop will explore the importance of culture in a foster family. Participants will learn to differentiate culture from race, ethnicity, or gender. Common cultural misconceptions and conflicts, particularly those involving foster families, will be addressed. Participants will learn about ethnocentrism, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. The formation of facial identity for children will be presented. Finally, participants will develop parenting strategies to assist foster children in the formation of strong, healthy identity formation and self-esteem.

928-FF12-S: Relating to Primary Families: Understanding Challenges, Issues, and Strategies for Success (6 hours) 

When a child enters foster care, that experience can be the most traumatic event of his or her young life, even more than the abuse that led to the removal.  The transition from removal to reconnection to reunification (permanency) is a fragile process full of emotion for all who are part of that process. Historically, foster care was considered a rescuing operation designed to remove children from harmful, abusive, or neglectful homes.  However, this traditional role has undergone tremendous change.   Foster parents are now expected to facilitate visits and encourage and participate in other forms of interaction between foster children and their birth families.  There is a growing expectation that foster parents will actively support primary parents in their reunification efforts. The goal of the workshop is to provide information about why the involvement of foster caregivers with primary families is critical for the child and for both families. This training will also enhance skills of foster caregivers in engaging primary families, managing conflict, diffusing issues, and developing strategies of support, expediting permanency for children.  

941-FF14-S: Fostering Self-Reliance in Children and Youth: Roots and Wings (6 hours)

Parents must equip their children for independence as they grow into adulthood.  The process of enhancing a child’s ability to be self-reliant begins around 18 months of age and continues into young adulthood.  Parents begin this process with the simplest learning opportunities in daily living skills; they increase the complexity of the activities and skills as the child succeeds and matures.  Building self-reliant adults is an intentional process.  This workshop gives parents and caregivers specific tools to foster self-reliance in children of all ages and developmental levels. 

E-Track Tip
Did you know that you can quickly search and enroll in available sessions of these courses inside E-Track? Simply log into E-Track, and enter the appropriate learning number (e.g., 941-FF14-S) into the "What Would You Like to Learn Today" box, check the "code" button beneath that, and click "Find It." Then click "Enroll or view available dates for this learning" on the resulting screen's left-side menu to find the date and location that best meets your needs. For more information, view the E-Track Quick-Start Guide.

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POST-FINALIZATION TRAINING FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS

947-PA01-S: Changing Hats: Foster to Adopt  (3 hours) 

A revolving door - that is what life is like for many children caught in the foster care system. Some children move through that revolving door as they are reunited with birth families. Others spin around that revolving door as they proceed from one foster home to another.  For some children, that revolving door stops--they are adopted by their foster parents. The phenomenon of foster parent adoption is increasing as more and more agencies recognize the tremendous value of a child’s foster family when an adoptive placement is under consideration. This workshop will explore the benefits of foster parent adoption and present tools for foster parents to use in making a sound decision regarding permanency.  Strategies to help a child cope with the transition from foster care to adoption will be presented. 

947-PA02-S: Adopting Your Foster Child After Reunification Fails  (3 hours)  

It is not unusual in the world of foster care and adoption to have a child returned to his or her birth home, only to return to the previous foster/adoptive home for permanency.  This workshop addresses a parent’s greatest task – recapturing a child’s heart.  During the workshop, parents will address barriers to rebuilding a family relationship, what parents need to know about the returning child and strategies to regain his or her trust and love.    

948-PA03-S: Impact of Adoption on Birth Children in the Adoptive Home  (3 hours)  

This workshop will explore the impact of special needs adoption on birth children in the home.  The training will examine the needs of birth children which can easily become “neglected” in the effort to meet the intense needs of traumatized adopted children.  Strategies will be presented to assist adoptive parents in finding a balance in meeting the needs of all of the children in their families. 

948-PA04-S: After Adoption: Understanding the Lifelong Journey  (3 hours)  

Adoption is not an event in the life of the adopted person, adopted family, and birth parent. It is a lifelong process. This three hour interactive workshop is about the journey of adoption as seen through the eyes of those who have been touched by the process.  Highlighting this workshop will be the presentation of the international award-winning documentary – First Person Plural.  Participants will have an opportunity to walk through the adoptive experience with an adult adoptee, adoptive parents, birth parents and birth siblings. The film is a life-changing experience. 

Six Weeks of Support for Adoptive Parents SERIES (18 hours over 6 sessions)  

This six-week series provides both training and opportunities for group support and sharing among adoptive parents.  The participants will meet weekly for six weeks in three-hour workshops for training and facilitated discussion on the following topics:  

948-PA05-S Motivation and Expectations of Adoption
948-PA06-S Attachment
948-PA07-S Adoption Issues
948-PA08-S Who Is Angry and How Do We Manage It?
948-PA09-S Birth Parents--Friends or Foes?
948-PA10-S Support: Everyone Needs It

Each session is three hours in length with 1½ - 2 hours of training and 1 to 1½ hours of guided discussion on the topics listed above. 

948-PA11-S: Triggers: What Can Cause Adoption Related Crisis?  (3 hours) 

The behavior, adjustment, and feelings of children are affected by both normal child development and by their experiences and perceptions.  When their experience includes adoption, children will, of course, be affected, by their feelings about that history.  It is often difficult for parents and professionals to determine which behaviors are related to normal child development (maturation) and which are related to adoption.  Often, the answer lies in the “triggers,” identifiable situations or events that can create emotional upheaval for the adopted child or young adult.The purpose of this workshop is to help adoptive parents identify and prepare for common triggers of adoption-related distress.  The workshop should assist parents in developing strategies for preventing or ameliorating crises that can “derail” a child as he grows into a healthy adult. 

949-PA12-S:  Keepin’ it in the Family:  The Unique Issues of Kinship Care (3 hours)  

This workshop is specifically designed for the kinship parent.  The following unique issues facing the kinship parent will be discussed: understanding and dealing with the changes experienced as a result of caring for kin children, such as loss, shifting family systems, and lifestyle changes, while maintaining a healthy, safe relationship with the children’s birth parents and other family members.  Tips for successful and stress-free parenting are highlighted. 

949-PA13-S: “Mom, Dad, I’m Searching” The Impact of Search and Reunion on the Family (6 hours) 

This workshop is specifically designed for adoptive parents of teens and young adults.  The following unique issues facing these parents will be discussed:  Understanding and dealing with the needs of the young adult regarding adoption issuesUnderstanding the young adult’s desire to search for his birth familyRecognizing the stages of the search and how to help prepare the searcher for the emotional issues likely to surfaceIdentifying stressors and developing strategies for the family as the young adult begins the search.

949-PA14-S: Mystery History: Helping Your Foster or Adopted Child Understand His Past  (6 hours) 

This workshop will equip parents with the knowledge and tools they will need as they communicate with their adopted child about the complex, troubling, and often painful aspects of his fragmented past.  Participants will learn to answer such questions as: How do I share difficult information about my child’s adoption in a sensitive manner?  When is the right time to tell my child the whole truth?  How do I find further information about my child’s history?  Parents will leave the workshop with knowledge of how to make sense of the past for adopted children of all ages.  

949-PA15-S: The Openness Puzzle:  3-2-1Contact! (6 hours)

 This workshop provides an overview of the reasons for openness in adoption, as well as an examination of many anxieties felt by adoptive parents in open adoption relationships with birth family members.  Participants will explore different options in openness and will receive some guidelines for use in decision-making about when openness is appropriate.    Strategies to determine the right level of openness will be presented, and participants will examine the option of changing the level of openness in an already finalized adoption. 

949-PA16-S: The Openness Puzzle:  3-2-1Contact! (3 hours) 

This workshop provides a brief overview of the reasons for openness in adoption, as well as an examination of many anxieties felt by adoptive parents in open adoption relationships with birth family members.  Participants will explore different options in openness and will receive some guidelines for use in decision-making about when openness is appropriate. This three-hour version of The Openness Puzzle: 3-2-1-Contact is a condensed version of a six-hour curriculum which addresses post finalization issues of openness in greater depth. 

952-PA17-S: Play with a Purpose: Strategies to Enhance the Parent-Child Relationship (3 hours) 

This three-hour workshop will review the concepts of strong parent-child relationships in families formed by adoption.  The emphasis will be on strengthening the parent-child relationship using three distinct approaches: the arousal/relationship cycle, repetitive claiming, and positive interaction.  The workshop will also include ways for parents to strengthen attachment to their child or teen at the same time.  It is recommended that participants have a fundamental knowledge of the issues surrounding attachment prior to attending the workshop.

981-PA18-S: Successful Transcultural Parenting: Dealing with the Dynamics of Difference  (6 hours)

This workshop is filled with practical strategies to empower successful families who have adopted or are fostering transculturally.  Concrete tools are provided to build cultural identity based on predictable developmental stages.  Parents will learn how to enhance cultural connectedness, how to talk frankly with children and youth about cultural issues, and how to advocate for youth in a manner that is respectful, reflective, and sensitive to cultural diversity.  Sibling and extended family issues are explored within a framework of positive and successful family building. 

983-PA19-S: Diagnosis AD/HD: What’s Next?  (6 hours) 

Attaching a name to a disorder is just the beginning.  Home and school success often depend on the skill of parents who know how to meet their child’s special needs.  In this workshop, adoptive and foster parents will receive new ideas for how to end the homework hassle, advocate successfully for the child at school, deal with the frustration of siblings, improve social skills, and preserve the self-esteem of the child who struggles with AD/HD.  The unique gifts of these children will also be considered.  Over 30 practical tips for how to help children get organized, complete tasks, and keep friends will be shared, as well as numerous print and video resources for ongoing learning and planning for the future. 

983-PA20-S: Standing in the Gap: Becoming an Effective Advocate for Your Foster/Adopted Child  (3 hours)  

The workshop focuses on strategies to enhance the adoptive parent’s ability to advocate effectively for appropriate educational services for their children.  The workshop also explores the parent’s role in accessing other special services (e.g. mental health or post adoption services) for their children as well as the adoption subsidies to assist with paying for those services. 

987-PA21-S: Single Adoptive Parenting: Single but Never Alone (3 hours)  

Single parenting, whether by original plan or later life circumstances, presents both joys and challenges to any parent.  Adoption often adds additional challenges for both the parent and child. This three-hour workshop explores the unique issues of single adoptive parenting in a way that is honest, thought-provoking, supportive, and creative.  Participants will be encouraged to identify their own needs, as well as their child’s, and to develop short- and long-term strategies to strengthen and support the adoptive family.  

987-PA22-S: Adoption and Healthy Adult Relationships  (6 hours)  

Adoptive parents experience a great amount of stress on their relationships with adult partners.  When challenges arise, they can be met by a strong, united couple able to respond in a healthy way to the needs of children in their home. The barometer of a healthy home can best be measured by the well-being of the adult relationship.  That relationship provides the “rudder” that steers the course of the family. What makes a relationship strong?  What can parents do to maintain a healthy relationship amidst the stresses of parenting adopted children?  Adoption and a Healthy Adult Relationship offers a fresh look at the dynamics of adoption and adult relationships.  Co-parents will develop a plan to enhance their commitment to one another and to their adopted child(ren).  Parents who attend this workshop should attend with their partners. 

989-PA23-S: Building a Healthy Adoptive Family: Ten Factors of Success (6 hours) 

This six-hour workshop will present 10 factors that can enhance the adjustment of adoptive families in the post finalization period of adoption.  The workshop is designed to build awareness of successful adoptive family life.  Strategies, attitudes, and values will be presented that can help families enhance attachment and develop realistic expectations, both for themselves and their adoption experience. 

994-PA24-S: What Family Tree?  School Issues and the Adopted Child  (3 hours)  

Like all children, children who are adopted or in foster care spend a good portion of their waking hours in school.  Because school is such an important aspect of children’s lives, it is crucial that the child’s school experience be a positive one.  When a child experiences a problem at school, the parent might wonder if the problem is related to the child’s child welfare experience or if it is a “generic” problem common to all children.  This workshop will help parents know how and when to share information with their child’s teacher and other school personnel, be able to talk with their child about how and when to share their “story” with peers, identify challenging assignments / moments that fostered or adopted children face in the school curriculum and be able to identify alternative strategies for approaching those assignments, and identify behaviors or situations that may require special help in the school setting. 

E-Track Tip
Did you know that you can quickly search and enroll in available sessions of these courses inside E-Track? Simply log into E-Track, and enter the appropriate learning number (e.g., 994-PA24-S) into the "What Would You Like to Learn Today" box, check the "code" button beneath that, and click "Find It." Then click "Enroll or view available dates for this learning" on the resulting screen's left-side menu to find the date and location that best meets your needs. For more information, view the E-Track Quick-Start Guide.

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