Friday, February 06, 2009

Foster parent Training

"It has come to our attention that the monthly reporting form sucks. Do you have any suggestions?"

That was the topic of the monthly foster parent support group last night. I paraphrase, of course. There is always a topic and it counts as a training hour. I always intend to go, but I consistently forget.

I have to get 12 hours of training a year. Usually I end up with something between 25 and 50. So much of what I do (did) counted: PFLAG; meetings with the kids' thearpists; Alanon; and then there always seemed to be new required trainings. Suddenly though I am doing nothing. I don't get invited into Gary's therapy sessions (which is okay). Local PFLAG is not more and I don't attend Alanon, although I am not certain they should really count if I am not currently parenting a kid who is neither gay nor a recovering addict. Of course I would defend Alanon -- it is the best foster parent training I ever had.

Anyway, I get relicensed in June and I didn't have any hours at all. I called and got permission to write down a certain number of hours for a book I read, and last night I went to the foster parent support group.

So we talked about the reporting form. I've complained about it for years. The social workers have agreed that it is not meaningful. The basic problem seems to be that they are required to have some sort of form, but that they are all so good about staying in close contact with us that there really isn't anything for us to write on the form that they don't already know. It is never clear to anyone what exactly the form is for, other than to show to the person who shows up periodically who wants to make sure they are doing it.

Anway, we bounced around the same three or four ideas for half an hour and then chatted about our kids. No one had any serious issues.

It was not unpleasant. There was dinner, and that was okay.

And I have another training hour to write down on this month's reporting form.


  1. Kaleb and I got to go to a weekend training at a nice hotel with all meals included for FREE!!! It was awesome and it took care of all of our hours for the year. Michigan requires 20 hours I think...It's at least 20, it may be more. Anywho, that weekend was awesome and we got to connect with other foster parents AND parents who have their children in foster care right now.

    I have no idea what the point of that was, but I thought I'd share. :)


  2. I've been wanting to get my husband into AlAnon for years. Last night after our second class, he actually said that he thinks there are some things he needs to work out in his own psyche before we get the kiddos - I'll pass your assessment of them as prep for hurt kiddos on to him, maybe some good things will happen.

    Will they let me go too, do you think? The closest thing to an addict I have in my life is that my dad says that my mom was hooked on Dristan nasal spray sometime in the late 70's, but I think it's just as likely that she was severely allergic to the cat.

  3. Yes, they will let you in. There isn't an application verbal or written. You just go and sit down.

    They will go around the circle and give everyone a chance to say their name and share. You can say that you don't have anything to say, that you are there to support your husband, or that you are becoming a foster parent and know that a lot of the kids come from families with substance abuse and have been told that attending meetings will help you prepare.

    Remember of course that other people there are in crisis. Just listen for a while.

  4. Hey- ask your agency if they accept online training credit hours. Ours does and we use its great- read the material, take the quiz/test, print off and email your certification. Different classes count for different hours.

    WE're required to do half of the 20 hours "live" (whether CPR etc or agency-sponsored classes) but the rest can be online.

  5. I will, but I expect counting the book I read may have used up that budget. They said that I could count it for half of my hours.

    There is a foster parent conference that I can go to in May...I'm pretty sure.

  6. Yondalla, you should be teaching the classes instead of attending. ;-)

    Totally agree with you on Alanon. If I hadn't had 9 years before J I never would've made it. Daily practicing the whole detachment with love and it's not about me, made all the difference in whether or not we would succeed.

  7. Alanon is helpful in so many facets of life. I think it's great they counted it as training. I would say just about anyone qualifies...Jenniebie you probably have an addict or alcoholic in your life, a good friend a coworker or your boss maybe?

  8. Sounds like daycare training. It is not unpleasant but it is never very useful in the end.

  9. For work I'm on a planning committee at my city's agency. If only I were already licensed (lead paint related delays), it would be great hours. Honestly, I've learned more from this committee than I learned in the required initial training.

  10. Anonymous1:47 PM

    Right now, Casey Family Programs is funding scholarships on Foster Parent College so you can get up to 8 training hours for free. Each class takes about 30-45 minutes and its online. Some classes are like round table discussions of a subject. I took house safety and it was a tour of a house with an expert leading the tour, pointing out problems, etc. I took abuse and neglect and it was taught by Betsy Keefer Smalley from Ohio and it's excellent. The classes are great and keep your interest.


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