As COVID-19 continues to force many into self-isolation and financial anxiety, child welfare experts predict that our most vulnerable population is at higher risk for abuse. In Kansas, there’s a great need for safe, loving homes to care for the nearly 7,000 youth who have experienced abuse and neglect and have had to enter foster care as a result. Fortunately, the training class to become a foster parent can now be completed at home! With the ability of virtual learning, we can offer you a one-on-one class called Deciding Together (DT). This class pairs you with a professional who will provide you with all the trauma-informed education and information required from the state of Kansas to become a licensed foster home.
Why Do I Need to Take a Class to Become a Foster Parent?
Children in foster care have endured traumatic stress such as abuse, neglect or witnessed violence. For most people, even experienced parents, trauma is a new concept. The children’s trauma directly affects the way they act, think, interpret (or don’t interpret) and express their own feelings. This means parenting children in foster care could look significantly different from parenting children who have not experienced trauma.
Childhood trauma is one of the biggest focuses in the training course because it enables adults to provide the what’s known as “trauma-informed care.” Trauma and its impact on a person’s brain and behaviors are discussed extensively so every potential foster or adoptive parent is equipped to help children heal and create a healthy future.
What’s the Class Like?
The Deciding Together course has all of the same information and education that’s contained in our in-person classes (called TIPS-MAPP), but these are tailored to meet your needs in a more individualized setting in this time of social distancing.
This course will take seven individual meetings. In each session, your DT leader will go over a book (sent electronically) to cover all content and provide group discussion and feedback. This can all be done virtually through online meetings in the comfort and safety of your own home. Internet access, phone and web-camera accessories will be required so that we can visually see both you and your home. If technology is a barrier for you, please let us know and a foster parent recruiter will work with you on other training options.
Deciding Together Testimonial
Hayley Miller recently completed Deciding Together. She had this to say:
“For many years fostering or adopting has been in the back of my mind and desires. However, unmarried, I did not consider pursuing it until I crossed paths with a couple stories of single women engaging in foster parenting. Since then, the interest began to again take shape, and I started the journey of discussion with loved ones and getting further information. Just as I was in process of pursuing the TIPS MAPPS class, our state entered the stay-at-home order due to COVID-19. I am grateful that KVC sought to overcome the obstacle and offered a virtual option. This proved to be a great time to go through the class as my normal evening activities were suspended.
“Katherine, my instructor, was very experienced and informative. I was surprised to find not just an instructor but a new friend. We put together a schedule that worked for both of us. I was able to complete the course within the time spent at home under the stay-at-home order. The class helped me to continue to gather information about foster parenting, set my expectations, and helped me to overcome some of my fears and insecurities of pursuing this as a single woman. Though the class did not seek to downplay my concerns, it assured me that I would not be alone in this journey. Through collaboration with KVC, birth families, support groups, and many others that fostering would bring into my life, this would be no solo journey. I found this comforting and empowering to continue towards providing care. I look forward to the next steps along this path.”
Becoming a foster parent is a big decision that requires a lot of conversation. It’s not a decision that most people make overnight or even over a few days, but it is one of the most enriching and life changing experiences you’ll ever have. Visit our Become a KVC Foster Parent page to learn more, and click here if you’d like to speak with a foster parent recruiter.