Becoming and thriving as a foster or adoptive parent can present many challenges. Child welfare agencies dedicate time and resources to train prospective foster and adoptive parents to manage the challenges and develop parenting skills to support children and youth within the child welfare system. These children and youth may have experienced trauma, grief, and loss; have mental health considerations; and demonstrate different behavior patterns. However, the available training programs can vary on the competencies stressed, depth of content, and availability of posttraining resources and support.
This episode explores the National Training and Development Curriculum (NTDC) for Foster and Adoptive Parents, funded by the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NTDC was developed to provide free curriculum and resources for potential foster or adoptive parents so they will have the information and tools needed to parent a child who has experienced trauma, separation, or loss. NTDC offers classroom-based trainings that cover 23 themes; 4 of which are specific to either kinship caregivers or families who adopt private domestically or via the intercountry process.
The following individuals are featured in this episode:
- Sue Cohick, MSW, LSW, project director, Spaulding for Children
- Francis Agyakwa, MSW, learning and development team supervisor, Division of Child Welfare, Colorado Department of Human Services
- Katina Hand, licensing training specialist, FamiliesFirst Network
- Jessie Howell, adoptive parent and co-facilitator, FamilesFirst Network
Topics discussed include the following:
- The common technical and implementation challenges and the knowledge gaps current training presents to child welfare agencies and trainers
- How NTDC for Foster and Adoptive Parents offers trainers and facilitators flexibility to meet both their jurisdictions and parents’ needs
- Key messages woven throughout the curriculum’s themes to help parents understand trauma, culture, and how to best respond to conflict
- “A-ha!” moments and valuable takeaways participants have shared with their facilitators