Foster Care and Adoption Education
“We live in a world in we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”
As families find themselves considering whether foster care and/or adoption could be a direction they want to explore for their family, there are a lot of things that are important to consider this decision is being made.
Most foster care and adoption agencies require interested families to participate in an educational, evaluative process to make sure they understand the basics of the child welfare system, the needs of children and families experiencing child protection services, and the impact this decision could likely have on all the individuals involved. As someone with over a decade of experience working with foster care and adoption (including training families in various capacities since 2013 and becoming a Certified Adoption Competent Clinician in 2016) I have helped so many precious families along their journeys and am deeply passionate about using my experience to help those considering this next step.
I do this primarily through a national curriculum called "Trauma Informed Deciding Together" (DT) which was developed by the Children's Alliance of Kansas and is based on the Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP). Within the MAPP framework, child welfare professionals, birth parents, foster parents and adoptive parents are trained to work as a team to support the long-term welfare of the child. DT consists of 6 individual workbooks that prospective families complete and have partnered with professional consultation. While the experience can be largely self paced, I have found it is generally most helpful for families to commit to completing one book a week so they can then have their professional consultation on a set day and time to discuss the content before moving on to the next book. Each weekly consultation is generally between 2-3 hours long and focuses on the individualized experiences of each family as they engage in the learning, case scenarios, and self-assessment involved in the process.
Book 1: Understanding Foster Care and Adoption Today
Book 2: Understanding Separation and Loss
Book 3: Helping Children Express and Meet Their Needs
Book 4: Helping Children Maintain and Build Connections
Book 5: Understanding the Impact of Fostering and Adoption on Families
Book 6: Building Support Systems for Foster and Adoptive Families
Prior to starting DT, I have all families review and sign a Deciding Together Agreement so we can be clear about what to expect from each other during the time we are working together.
If you are interested in participating in the virtual DT process with me, please contact me here.