Mobile App for Building Resilience in Foster Families

Helps foster/adoptive families and youth build strengths, connect to supports, and overcome common challenges


Have you heard about “FOCUS on Foster Families”? Designed for foster/adoptive families and youth, this free mobile application aims to provide support for youth and those who care for them in the form of video interviews, skill-building games, and access to downloadable PDFs to help promote resilience in the face of challenges.

This app was developed by a UCLA team that specializes in using technology to provide information, skill training, and support for families. With guidance from a large number of foster/adoptive youth, parents, and human services experts, FOCUS on Foster Families includes guidance, shared experiences, practical training, and interactive games, all designed to build individual and family strengths, resilience, and hope.

The app provides information and support in the form of candid interviews with current and past foster/adoptive youth, parents and grandparents, and experts on the foster/adoptive process. FOCUS on Foster Families also includes scripted family training videos that provide practical instruction on helpful ways of dealing with common challenges, interactive games to help youth build skills in problem-solving and emotional regulation, and lists of resources and links organized by topic.

Patricia Lester, Director of UCLA’s Nathanson Family Resilience Center, which developed this app, says “We are especially excited about the opportunity to feature the stories of real foster youth and parents who can help guide our users through their experiences with common challenges.”

Members of the UCLA Guardian Scholars, a program which offers support to foster youth attending UCLA, provided consistent support for this project and are featured in a number of videos within the app’s resource section. The students candidly shared their experiences and helpful tips for parents and youth currently involved in foster care. The project also benefitted from advice and collaboration provided by a number of community-based organizations that work with foster youth and families.

“Sharing your experiences in foster care is difficult,” said Annika Taber, UCLA Guardian Scholar, “but I think I can speak for everyone in saying, we did this because we were all there once and all any of us wanted to hear was that we weren’t alone.”

FOCUS on Foster Families works on mobile phones and tablets. It can be downloaded free from the iTunes App Store ( and the Google Play Store (

To learn more, go to

Download FOCUS on Foster Families today and . . .Get tips, answers to common questions, and encouragement from foster caregivers, youth and experts

Watch demonstration videos to help you learn key strategies for dealing with common challenges

Play interactive video games for youth designed to build skills in problem-solving and emotional regulation

Download FOCUS tools and visit online resources