Supporting young parents in foster care

It can be hard for foster parents and staff to balance ensuring that a baby is well cared for without taking over the parenting role and sidelining the young parent. Here, Martha Edwards, the director of the Ackerman Institute’s Center for the Developing Child and Family in New York, explains how foster parents and staff can help young parents gain

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Building a positive relationship with birth parents

by Donna Foster • Tips to help you engage, motivate, and support birth parents as they learn to parent their children in healthy ways. Foster parents are taught about the things children feel when experiencing loss. We are taught in MAPP about the grief cycle and how to help children through each stage. Yet we are not always taught that

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A Birth Mother’s Perspective
Working together to help Darren return home

I visited Darren a lot while he was in foster care and worked hard to get him back. Even though I had two relapses, I went to school full-time and worked part-time. I lived in a shelter some of the time, and I got TANF…. “This story is about Darren, not about us.” After our visits, I always took Darren

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Talking to children and youth about shared parenting

by Donna Foster • One thing children and youth say about being in foster care is that adults talk about their lives and make plans without communicating with them. I have heard many say, “This is my life and I need to know what is going to happen!” I learned this early in my 17 years of fostering and agree

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Resource parents can support families and maintain connections — even during a pandemic

This spring, most of us have been thrown for a loop by COVID-19 and the steps our society is taking to reduce its impact. Here in North Carolina, public schools across the state are closed for in-person instruction for the rest of this school year. We have been asked to stay at home and to keep our distance from one

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Foster care as a support to families, not a substitute for parents

The theme of this issue of Fostering Perspectives is “foster care as a support for families, not a substitute for parents.” Foster care is intended to be a short-term intervention that strengthens parents’ protective capacities so they can safely care for their children. The goal is almost always for children and youth to return to their families. One of the

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Questions for New Kinship Caregivers to Ask

Questions to ask the child welfare worker about taking responsibility for the children: Who has legal custody of the children? What rights and responsibilities does legal custody give? Physical custody? May I receive a copy of the signed voluntary placement agreement? (when applicable) May I be involved in developing the service plan and receive a copy of the plan? Will

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