XIV. C. Foster Parent Training and Certification

Effective 1/1/88

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XIV. C. Foster Parent Training and Certification

Effective 1/1/88

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Overall goals of pre-service training are based on enhancing the foster parents' understanding and sensitivity to the foster child and his or her feelings, as well as their own feelings. The goals are:

1.For foster parents to have basic knowledge about foster care, including the policy of the placing agency, the role of the caseworker, and the needs of children in care.


2.To prepare foster parents by sensitizing them to the kinds of situations, feelings and reactions that they are likely to encounter.


3.To develop greater self-awareness of foster parents own strengths, weaknesses, emotions and personality characteristics.


4.To effect behaviors in foster parents that will enable them to better fulfill the function of their role and to feel comfortable in that role.


5.To develop group identification with other foster parents, who can be supportive and understanding in times of difficulty or uncertainty.


6.To encourage questions and stimulate a desire for further learning.



Each regional office may develop its own particular method and model of pre-service training delivery depending upon unique regional needs.  Variations in training delivery to encourage foster parent participation may include:


1.Evenings and weekends where possible and where useful to the foster parents.


2.Alternative delivery approaches such a audio and video cassettes. The preferable approach would be to use these alternatives as part of the group training.


3.Varied techniques of training such as group discussion, role play, panels and foster parent co-trainers.



The following is the content of Pre-Service Training.  How these issues are presented is left to the discretion of the regional office staff responsible for arranging the training.  However, the training must be presented in not less than 3 group sessions in order to meet goals 5 and 6 above.


1.Introduction to Foster Care.
2.Working With the Department and Role Clarification.
3.How Children Come Into the System.
4.Adjustment Stages.
5.Attachment, Separation and Grief Cycle.
6.Permanency Planning.
7.Foster Parents and Adoption.
8.Discipline and Child Management.
9.Working with Child's Birth Parents Including Visitation.
10.Child Abuse and Neglect.
11.Sexual Abuse.
12.Child Development.
13.Protocol for Investigating Complaints of Abuse in Foster Homes.
15.Rewards and Satisfactions.
17.Substance Abuse: Basic Orientation.
18.Children's Medical Information:  Expectation of maintaining medical history; obtaining services at expected intervals; and transfer of history with child.




The Certification Program is designed to provide foster parents and potential foster parents with basic child development theory and to develop additional skills specifically related to foster care.  This program will provide a method for recognizing a level of accomplished training and professionalism for foster parents.



1.Licensed or approved foster parents must have completed a Pre-Service Training Program provided or approved by the Department. Exceptions to this rule must receive prior approval from the Director of the Department's Division of Child and Family Services, or designee.


2.The Community Care Worker or the trainer for the Pre-Service Training Program and the Community Care Supervisor are responsible for certifying on a form prescribed by the Department that an individual has completed the Pre-Service Training Program. This requirement will be waived for foster parents licensed prior to August 11, l986, when training became a licensing requirement.



1.  The following required curriculum must be completed for certification:





Course Name


Introduction to Child Sexual Abuse


Parenting the Sexually Abused Child


Alternative Discipline for Foster Parenting


Alternative Discipline for Foster Parenting


The Impact Grief and Separation on Foster Families and Foster Children


Working with Natural Parents


Child Development


Living with Teenage Foster Children


2.Acceptable alternatives to the curriculum will be determined on an individual basis.  Such alternatives may include courses offered by other programs, agencies, schools and colleges.  Substitutions will be evaluated against the required course to determine whether they meet the intent of the required course.  The applicant will be responsible for providing evidence that courses they propose to substitute for credit correlate to prescribed curriculum.  Determination will be made by the Director of the Division of Child and Family Services, or his/her designee.  Such requests should be made in writing, by the applicant to the Director.


3.Six credit hours for experience may be waived in a specific program area and will be considered by the Director of the Division of Child and Family Services, or his/her designee, upon written recommendation by Regional Office staff who have been associated with the individual professionally.  This recommendation should be based on information about the foster parent's specialized knowledge and demonstrated ability for caring for children having moderate to severe physical, emotional, mental or behavioral conditions.


4.Licensed or Approved Foster Parents who are participating in the certification program will be responsible for maintaining a record on a form prescribed by the Department of all courses taken.  This form will also include documentation by the regional office, that the individual has completed Pre-Service Training.


5.Upon completion of the certification program of the prescribed forty-two hours required curriculum a certificate will be issued by the Division of Child and Family Services to individuals who are either licensed or approved foster parents. This certificate is valid for two (2) years.



1.The certificate will be issued by the Division of Child and Family Services.


2.The certificate will expire two years after the date of issue but may be renewed upon completion of two (2) or more courses totaling at least a minimum of twelve (12) hours. The courses shall be offered or approved by the Department and related to foster parenting skills.


3.In order to renew a expired certificate, the individual must complete two (2) or more courses offered or approved by the Department and related to foster parenting skills, for every two (2) years totaling at least a minimum of twelve (12) hours for the period since the date of issue of the expired certification and for the lapsed period.