When you think of FosterAdopt Connect, you may conjure images of reunifications with loved ones and placements in safe homes, but this doesn’t happen overnight. Families must go through significant training to foster a child and maintain their license.
At FosterAdopt Connect, we think of training as more than a box to check — it’s a means of providing you with the latest research and parenting strategies to help you best meet the needs of your child. Whether you’re completing training for your initial licensing or receiving extra instruction after adopting, we have extensive, relevant courses that can support you on your journey.
Topics that Fit Your Needs
In conjunction with Kansas Post Adoption Resource Center (K-PARC), FosterAdopt Connect offers quarterly retreats, or two-day trainings featuring sessions on various topics. This allows families to get all their training hours completed in a short period.
Additionally, trainings are offered weekly throughout the year and cover themes such as advocating for your child, working with bio parents, and dealing with common behaviors and mental health problems, as well as basic licensing in CPR and first aid. Much of the training focuses on building healthy attachments for kids who have experienced trauma.
“We’re always adding training content,” says Jennifer Adams, Director of Family Support Programs. “A lot of the topics come from staff, other foster parents, and trends we see. For example, lots of people asking about IEPs, so we put training in place to help them navigate the educational world.”
Learn from Experts
Adams, as well as Family Training Specialists Jennifer Meyer and Janice Byrd, is certified to teach the National Training and Development Curriculum for Foster/Adoptive Parents (NTDC), a program that equips families with the education and skills to effectively parent children exposed to trauma and promote healthy child development. They are currently piloting the NTDC program in the Kansas City region to help create better outcomes for local kids.
While many trainings are taught by our highly qualified staff, FosterAdopt Connect also partners with local agencies to bring in guest speakers who are industry experts. In the past, these included Kansas police from the Special Victims Unit speaking about technology and sex trafficking and a doctor from Children’s Mercy discussing prenatal and early childhood drug exposure.
Though the goal in training is to prevent problems before they arise, our staff have stepped in to assist struggling families in times of crisis. One family was unable to find time for our Level A training due to the father’s rigid military schedule. Without the proper training and treatment, the child’s escalating behavioral issues would likely result in a disruption, requiring him to be placed in a different foster home. Our trainers coordinated with this family to offer tailored, one-on-one virtual training. As a result, the family was able to maintain the placement and their license.
Since the start of the pandemic, all trainings have been conducted virtually, allowing an even greater number of families to gain access to high-quality training. Foster parents from as far away as California have benefitted from this training format.
Adams encourages families in all stages of the foster and adoption process to take advantage of the courses FosterAdopt Connect offers.
“Our trainers have experience as foster and adoptive parents and are incredibly knowledgeable,” she says. “Don’t feel ashamed to seek additional support.”
Browse upcoming trainings here.