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For Foster Parents and Caregivers

Foster parents and relative/kinship caregivers are critical partners in child welfare and are key players working to achieve permanency for children and youth in care. As primary caretakers, foster parents and kinship caregivers play significant roles in working with parents and in carrying out the tasks in a child's permanency plan. Resources in this section offer information and materials that support caregivers' well-being and strengthen their efforts to partner and work with families and outline ways to prepare and promote the timely and safe return of children and youth to their parents.

For foster parents

Resource Families Partnering with Birth Families (PDF - 1,497 KB)
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association (2009)
Addresses the importance of positive connections between foster and birth parents and ways foster parents can contribute to the success of these partnerships and support reunification plans.

Being a Foster Parent
Describes the basic aspects of the fostering experience, including partnership with the child's caseworker, meeting the child's needs, preventing burnout, and learning resources. 

Completing the Circle: Uncovering, Discovering & Creating Connections for Your Foster & Adoptive Children (PDF - 428 KB)
Iowa Foster & Adoptive Parents Association (2008)
Offers helpful suggestions to foster and adoptive parents so they can identify, locate, and engage as many caring individuals as possible—biological and other—to support the child in their care over his or her lifetime.

The Foster Parenting Manual: A Practical Guide to Creating a Loving, Safe, and Stable Home
DeGarmo (2013)
View Abstract
Explores the foster care process, how foster parents can access help, and how to ensure the best care for foster children. This manual is intended for foster parents and the professionals who support them.

The Foster Parenting Toolbox: A Practical, Hands-On Approach to Parenting in Foster Care
Phagan-Hansel (2012)
View Abstract
Provides perspectives for foster parents and caregivers from foster children, judges, and others in the foster care system on strategies for easing the pain of separation, making transitions into care, working with caseworkers and court appointed special advocates, and the importance of teamwork. Highlights the importance of maintaining birth family connections and parenting with birth parents.

How Can Foster Parents and Birth Parents Successfully Coparent?
Provides strategies for how foster parents can work alongside a child's biological parents in order to help the child placed in their care.

How to Say Goodbye to Children in Your Home (PDF - 1,137 KB)
Iowa Foster Care & Adoptive Parents Association (2015)
News and Views, Spring
Suggests several ways that a foster parent can prepare to have a child in their care get ready to leave their foster home. Suggestions include lifebooks, engaging the child in the packing process, craft activities, and more.

Parent-Child Visits: Managing the Challenges, Reaping the Rewards
North Carolina Division of Social Services & Family and Children's Resource Program (2010)
Fostering Perspectives: Views on Foster Care and Adoption in North Carolina, 15(1)
Explains the importance of parent-child visitation when a child is in foster care and strategies caregivers can use to facilitate visitation. Tips for preparing a child for visitation, facilitating visits, supporting children after the visit, and helping a child when a visit is cancelled are discussed.

Touchpoints: Preparing Children for Transitions (PDF - 666 KB)
Coalition for Children, Youth & Families (2014)
Provides people who are involved in key transition points for a child in out-of-home care such as ongoing workers, foster parents, relative caregivers, adoption workers, CASA volunteers, therapists, and Tribal workers.

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For kinship caregivers

When Parents Get Their Children Back
De Toledo & Brown (2nd ed.) (2013)
In Grandparents as Parents: A Survival Guide for Raising a Second Family
View Abstract
Discusses coping mechanisms caregiving grandparents can use to help them adjust when children are returned to their parents. Case examples of successful and unsuccessful reunification are also provided.

The GrandKin Guide: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Relatives Raising Children (PDF - 544 KB)
National Kinship Alliance for Children (2013)
Explains what extended families can expect when asked to care for children by defining kinship care and different types of kinship care, explaining the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, and discussing choices relatives have when asked by child welfare agencies to care for their related child.

The Kinship Parenting Toolbox: A Unique Guidebook for the Kinship Care Parenting Journey
Phagan-Hansel (2015)
View Abstract
Provides information for those working with and parenting a relative's children. It includes chapters that address the unexpected role of becoming a kinship caregiver, getting organized to provide care, legalities regarding kinship care, financial assistance for providing kinship care, changing family dynamics, tips for dealing with an adult child, and much more. 

Raising Relatives' Children (PDF - 1,355 KB)
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parent Association (2013)
Presents a booklet designed to help kinship caretakers, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, and others who "take in" children they care about, to work effectively with Iowa Department of Human Services and juvenile court.

Raising Your Relative's Kids: How to Find Help (PDF - 2,085 KB)
Kim, Petermeier, & Norman (2013)
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension
Offers a listing of local resources where kinship caregivers in Nevada can find information and help for legal issues, financial assistance, medical care, education, transportation, and much more. 

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