Foster families provide a safe, nurturing family environment for children who have been removed from their homes as a result of abuse, neglect or involvement with the juvenile justice systems. These children and families have often experienced trauma, making it vital that they receive support. Foster families provide the temporary shelter and support needed until a child can safely return to his/her home, be cared for by relatives, or achieve permanency through guardianship, adoption or independent living.
At KVC, one of our core services is recruiting, training, licensing and supporting foster families to care for children ages birth to 18 (the greatest needs are for youth age 13 and older). These families offer the essential stability each child needs by providing a home, food, clothing, education, access to medical care, supervision and transportation, support, nurturing and guidance. Foster families also play an important role in helping each child achieve safe and timely permanency. KVC staff are on call 24/7 to offer support, advice and crisis intervention to foster parents who open their homes to children and youth in need.
If you a want to make a difference in the life of a child, we urge you to consider becoming a foster parent with KVC. Please contact us today.
Foster Care Training and Support
KVC provides an unparalleled level of training and support to foster families. Equipping you to provide the best care for a child in need ensures the best possible experience and long-term outcome for that child.
The training and support we offer is three-fold:
- Before becoming a foster family
- When you start providing foster care
- Ongoing training and support
Before you foster: Training Classes
KVC Nebraska uses two curricula for training potential foster parents:
- PS-MAPP: Partnering for Safety and Permanence-Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting. PS-MAPP is designed to train a large group of potential foster parents.
- Deciding Together, which is similar to PS-MAPP but allows for more flexibility for our goal of obtaining interested individuals in the rural communities and of a specific culture. Deciding Together is geared to an individual or couple.
PS-MAPP assists KVC in addressing the six federal family and children services review outcomes by addressing them with prospective foster and adoptive parents:
- Incidence of child abuse and neglect in foster care
- Recurrence of maltreatment
- Foster care reentries
- Length of time to achieve reunification
- Length of time to achieve adoption, and
- Stability of foster care placement.
The goal of the PS-MAPP program is to enable foster families to achieve the following core competencies:
- Foster and foster/adoptive parents will be able to meet the developmental and wellbeing needs of children and youth coming into foster care, or being adopted through foster care;
- Foster and foster/adoptive parents will be able to meet the safety needs of children and youth coming into foster care, or being adopted through foster care;
- Foster parents will be able to share parenting with a child’s family;
- Foster parents will be able to support concurrent planning for permanency; and,
- Foster and foster/adoptive parents will be able to meet their family’s needs in ways that assure a child’s safety and wellbeing.
As potential foster families participate in PS-MAPP or Deciding Together, the group leaders conduct ongoing assessments of each group member or family. The assessment is based on the “Twelve Criteria for Successful Fostering and Adopting.” The criteria are as follows:
- Know your own family. Assess your individual and family strengths and needs; build on strengths and meet needs.
- Communicate effectively. Use and develop communication skills need to foster or adopt.
- Know the children. Identify the strengths and needs of children and youth who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, and/or emotionally maltreated.
- Build strengths; meet needs. Build on the strengths and meet the needs of the children placed in your home.
- Work in partnership. Develop partnerships with children and youth, birth/adoptive families, the agency, and the community to develop and carry out plans for permanency.
- Be loss and attachment experts. Help children and youth develop skills to manage loss and attachment.
- Manage behaviors. Help children and youth manage behaviors.
- Build connections. Help children and youth maintain and develop relationships that keep them connected to their pasts.
- Build self-esteem. Help children and youth build upon positive self-concept and positive family, cultural and racial identity.
- Assure health and safety. Provide a healthy and safe environment for children and youth and keep them free from harm.
- Assess impact. Assess the way fostering and/or adopting will affect your family.
- Make an informed decision. Make an informed decision to foster and/or adopt.
When a potential foster parent completes PS-MAPP, the leader makes a recommendation as to the capability of the potential foster parent to provide care for children.
Upcoming Training Classes
When You Start Providing Foster Care
When you start providing foster care to a child, KVC will assign a foster care specialist to you. He/she will provide initial support within 24-48 hours of a child coming to stay with you. This will include:
- Explaining KVC expectations, payment cycles and other roles and responsibilities;
- Providing pertinent contact information of all team members including on-call phone numbers;
- Assuring all intake documentation is received at the time of placement. This includes but is not limited to the placement authorization/agreement, medical consent, superintendent’s letter, Child Placement Acknowledgment Form, acknowledgement of the discipline agreement ascertaining that all of the information is clear and understood, and completion of the personal item inventory.
Ongoing Training and Support
Ongoing support from KVC will include:
- Face-to-face contacts per the child/youth’s level of care with foster parent and child/youth (Note: We also ensure that face-to-face contact occurs with verbal child/youth privately – away from the foster parent – to ensure the child/youth feels safe and all needs are being appropriately met).
- Phone/email contact on weeks when face-to-face contact is not occurring;
- Assist in crisis support and problem-solving;
- Provide 24/7 crisis response and support
- Annual training through expert speakers at our Resource Family Conference