Fall 2023 Newsletter
Healthy Sexual Development: Now Available!
Sexual health is a critical part of all youth’s development, especially youth who have experienced trauma. Our newest course, Healthy Sexual Development, takes a broad approach to sexual health, with the goal of helping all young people in care develop the skills to set safe boundaries, have healthy relationships, and develop sexual competence.
Healthy Sexual Development was created by health educator, Ellen Friedrichs, MA, and the staff at Foster Parent College. It is presented by Theresa Reed, MEd, an experienced resource parent trainer. It also includes four foster care alumni talking about their experiences around sexual health while in care and the impact of those experiences on their lives.
Ashley, one of the former care alumni, speaks frankly in the course: “I feel like not knowing about my sexual health at a young age made me naive and easy to manipulate from older men who wanted sex from me, with promises of fake love.” She continued, “I think that if I understood my sexual health differently and actually understood my own sexual needs and what was healthy, I would have focused more on school instead of seeking out love.”
Filled with practical strategies and conversation starters, Healthy Sexual Development will help resource parents have conversations with youth that fit the youth’s developmental, emotional, and cognitive levels.
Please note: Foster Parent College serves parents and agencies throughout the United States and several other countries. Laws vary regionally about what is acceptable for resource parents to teach youth about sexual health, and some states or agencies may have blocked this course. If you do not see Healthy Sexual Development available in the course listing, please contact your agency administrator.
See a preview and learn more about Healthy Sexual Development here.
Looking for Experienced Resource Parents to Inspire Others
A priority for the FPC course development staff is including those with lived experiences within our courses. We are currently working on a self-care course for resource parents. This course talks about stress in the lives of caregivers, especially secondary traumatic stress (which is the emotional duress that can result after hearing about the firsthand trauma experiences of another). Then it will walk viewers through the process of creating a personal stress-buster plan for self-care.
We are looking for foster, kinship, and adoptive parents who are interested in videoing themselves talking about their approaches to self-care. These videos will be featured in this course as inspiration to others.
While we are encouraging all applicants, we are especially encouraging men and kinship care providers to apply.
If you work with parents who you think might be interested, please direct them to: https://fosterparentcollege.com/info/selfies.jsp
Autism: A Strength-Based Approach
Added to our website in May, Autism: A Strength-Based Approach was created with Robert Nickel, MD, a developmental pediatrician, and Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, PhD, a specialist on autism, an autistic woman herself, and adoptive mother of a child with autism. This course helps resource parents understand what autism is, what it’s like to be autistic, what services are available, and which parenting strategies will help children get the right supports.
At the end of the course, participants should be able to:
- Describe autism and its causes
- Identify the characteristics and behaviors of children with autism
- Describe common medical issues among children with autism
- Know what services and treatments are available to children with autism
- Understand how to support and encourage children with autism
- Understand how to manage challenging behaviors
Although the course has been available for only a few months, we have already received some very nice comments, including:
“This course is exactly what I needed because my child was just diagnosed with autism.”
“I have already recommended this course to others.” and
“Very educational course for caregivers and everyone who is involved in caring for [an] autistic child.”
See a preview and learn more about Autism: A Strength-Based Approach here.
New Spanish-Language Courses Added
Since 2016, we have been broadening the availability of our courses to resource parents who prefer to learn in Spanish. With the launch of two new courses early this summer, we now offer 22 Spanish-language courses. These courses are translated from and dubbed over their English-language counterparts. Our two newest courses are:
Preparación de adolescentes para la educación superior
(translated from Preparing Teens for Postsecondary Education)
Developed with John Burton Advocates for Youth, this course provides resource parents with the information needed to encourage their youth (in grades 6 to 10) to plan and prepare for higher education, including college, trade school, or apprenticeships. (For parents in California, this course is equivalent to Turning Dreams into Degrees, Education Course 1.)
¿Es posible que sea TEAF?
(translated from Could It Be FASD?)
While fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are surprisingly common in children in care, they can often be difficult to diagnose, as the signs and symptoms are associated with a number of other conditions. This course was developed by Kathryn Page, PhD, a former director of an FASD diagnostic clinic and author on the subject of FASD, and Robert Nickel, MD, a developmental pediatrician. It explores fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, how to identify them, and how parents can support children who were prenatally exposed to alcohol.
To see a full list of the Spanish-language courses at Foster Parent College (and to watch previews of each course), visit https://fosterparentcollege.com/info/full-list.jsp#spanCourses.
Courses in Production
The scripting and production teams at Foster Parent College are continually creating new courses on a variety of topics. We are looking forward to sharing these upcoming courses with you:
Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth in Care
Like all children, LGBTQ+ children and youth thrive and succeed when their families, schools, and communities support and nurture them. This course is designed to help resource parents understand the stresses and concerns of LGBTQ+ youth in care and how they can create a supportive and affirming home and family. It was developed by Angela Weeks, DBA, who has extensive experience creating and implementing programs that improve the lives of LGBTQ+ youth in care. It also features videos from six foster care alumni who identify as LGBTQ+ talking about their experiences.
Anticipated release date: Early 2024
Early screen shot from Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth in Care.
- CPR: An Awareness-Level Training
This awareness-level interactive training is being developed by Foster Parent College and Angie Buckalew and Megan Wendling of HTH Safety Solutions. The course is designed specifically for foster, adoptive, and kinship parents to increase their knowledge, skills, and preparedness to provide CPR for infants, children, and adults. The course also provides training on how to use an AED with CPR and how to prevent injuries that could lead to the need for CPR.
Anticipated release date: Summer 2024
- First Aid: An Awareness-Level Training
Being developed with Angie Buckalew and Megan Wendling of HTH Safety Solutions, this awareness-level interactive course will provide resource parents and caregivers with practical knowledge and resources to be ready to use the life-saving skills of first aid. The training will build resource parents’ knowledge of how to recognize that a medical emergency is taking place; how to care for injuries; and how to apply trauma-informed parenting skills before, during, and after an emergency. The course will also cover how to prevent injuries that could lead to the need for first aid.
Anticipated release date: TBD
- Secondary Trauma: A Self-Care Course
Caring for children who have been exposed to trauma can be traumatic itself. In this course, being developed with Rowena Mudiappa, LCSW, we help resource parents understand how stress, especially secondary traumatic stress, can impact their own health. Then we guide them through developing an individualized plan for managing this stress.
Anticipated release date: TBD
- Parenting Youth Who Have Been Trafficked
Supporting youth who have experienced labor and/or sex trafficking requires resource parents to understand the nuances of a youth’s risks, respond appropriately when trafficking is happening, and engage in effective prevention education. This course is being developed with Carolina Fuentes, LCSW, who has experience developing curricula for both preventing human trafficking and supporting youth who have experienced it.
Anticipated release date: TBD
Other courses in development will cover the topics of: toxic stress, complex trauma, and insecure attachments (being scripted with Beth Tyson, MA); helping children tell the truth (being scripted with Rick Delaney, PhD); and sleep problems (an updated version of our current course).
Quick Website Redesign Update
The staff at Foster Parent College is working away on our website redesign. We know this is taking longer than expected, and we are excited to share the new site with you as soon as possible. Be on the lookout for notices soon, and if you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Holidays at Foster Parent College
Please note, the offices for Foster Parent College will be closed to observe the following holidays:
- Thanksgiving Thursday, November 23
- Christmas Monday, December 25
- New Year's Day Monday, January 1, 2024
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, January 15, 2024
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