Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System

Foster Parent Foundation Training

Foundation Courses

During the initial two year licensing period, foster and adoptive parents must complete the ten-module Foundation curriculum. This curriculum explores the key aspects of foster parenting, focusing on both knowledge and skills building.

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Module #1: Partners in Permanency (3 Hrs.)

This workshop introduces the parent or caregiver to the primary goals of child protective services and how these services can help achieve protection and permanence for children and their families. The parent or caregiver is introduced into their role as a member of the team and how collaboration with caseworkers, the child protection agency, and other professionals is imperative to serving the child, birth family, and foster parent. The importance of advocacy for the child is also emphasized, as the best interest of the child needs to be implemented during case planning, with schools and other service agencies/providers.

Module #2: Cultural Dynamics in Placement (3 Hrs.)

This workshop presents an overview of culture and the ways in which our values and codes of conduct are impacted by culture. Participants learn to separate culture from race and learn to identify the many and complex ingredients of cultural identity. Caregivers will also learn methods to more successfully parent a child from a culture different than their own.

Module #3: Maintaining Family Connectedness (3 Hrs.)

This workshop provides information about the losses experienced by birth families, expected behaviors of grieving birth parents, and ways to work effectively with birth families along a continuum of contacts. Parents and/or caregivers also learn how to identify key members of the child’s birth family and the significance of sibling connections.

Module #4a: Dynamics of Abuse and Neglect Part 1 (3 Hrs.)

This workshop familiarizes the parent/caregiver with the dynamics of physical and sexual abuse, emotional maltreatment and neglect, as well as the physical and behavioral indicators in children. Parents/caregivers also become familiar with the types of family situations that can contribute to abuse and neglect. Laws regarding mandatory reporting of suspected abuse and neglect are also examined.

Module #4b: Dynamics of Abuse and Neglect Part 2 (3 Hrs.)

Prerequisite Module 4a: Dynamics of Abuse and Neglect: Part 1. This workshop familiarizes the parent/caregiver with the dynamics of physical and sexual abuse, emotional maltreatment, and neglect as well as the physical and behavioral indicators in children. Parents/caregivers also become familiar with the types of family situations that can contribute to abuse and neglect. Laws regarding mandatory reporting of abuse and neglect are also examined.

Module #5: Impact of Maltreatment on Child Development (3 Hrs.)

This workshop describes the impact of maltreatment on a child’s development, including outlining typical child development in the five developmental domains, as well as developmental delays that are associated with the different forms of abuse and neglect. Parents or caregivers will learn about resources to address developmental delays. In addition, parents or caregivers will understand that children will experience differing degrees of traumatization due to their resiliency factors, and will also need to learn life skills differently due to their abuse histories.

Module #6: Attachment (3 Hrs.)

This workshop demonstrates normal, healthy attachment and how it influences child development. Parents and caregivers are introduced to how attachment is the foundation for guidance and positive discipline, and how it is impacted by separation from primary parents, siblings, and other attachment figures.

Module #7: Separation and Placement (3 Hrs.)

This workshop examines the effects of separation on the child within their cultural context. Participants also learn to identify stages in the grieving process as well as strategies to reduce the trauma to children who have experienced separations from significant others. In addition, the workshop also examines issues related to emotional conflict and the impact of multiple placements on the child.

Module #8: Guidance and Positive Discipline (3 Hrs.)

This workshop examines the reasons for behavioral problems among foster and adopted children. The workshop also explains the agency policy regarding corporal punishment and the underlying reasons for that policy. Finally, participants receive information on positive ways to manage behavior including natural and logical consequences, contracting, and rewarding.

Module #9: Effects of Fostering on the Family (3 Hrs.)

This workshop examines the impact of foster care, adoption, and kinship care on the family system. Information is presented on disclosure of important information to foster and adoptive parents and protocol for handling challenges specific to foster care. The workshop enables prospective parents to develop effective coping strategies and survival plans.