Therapeutic vs. Traditional foster care

Broadly there are two categories of foster kids. Traditional Foster Care involves caring for children who are “normal” kids not dis-similar to kids from a regular biological household in terms of behavioral issues. Therapeutic (or Treatment) foster kids are kids that need a higher level of care and attention to help resolve the trauma that they have suffered. Naturally, the therapeutic foster parent has a more difficult task. These parents are additionally trained and given additional support by the coordinating social worker representing the state, often through a contracted agency. Here are six things to know about Therapeutic Foster Care.

National Foster Care Month: Can neighbors be like kin?

May is National Foster Care Month. And this year the focus is on kinship care and reunion with bio families (biological or birth families) where possible. Kinship This post explores the idea that neighbors can be considered as kin for the purposes of “keeping families together.”

Kinship Foster Care: Why Culture is important

We are delighted to celebrate the first anniversary of StartFosterCare.org and the May 2022 National Foster Care month. Kinship connections and stronger families is a focus of this year’s foster care month.See the Children’s Bureau and Child Welfare Information Gateway website.In this post we explain why culture is important to the foster child.

Why Foster Parent Training ?

The foster parent recruitment process involves compulsory foster parent training. It is after training that a foster parent becomes a licensed foster parent in a US state. This is an important professional credential for us at StartFosterCare.org. As social work/foster care professionals always explain at StartFosterCare meetings, there are different levels of needs of foster kids. These levels of need included, levels of therapeutic or treatment care. Different levels of Foster Parenting can require different kinds of training.
According to academic research and our experience here is why Foster Parent training is so important:

COVID Stress and Foster Care

Happy New Year 2022 to all our dear readers!

Frankly, we can’t believe that COVID continues into 2022. The foster care community including should not allow COVID to freeze them into inaction.

Life needs to go on and foster kids need to be cared for, even more as COVID continues into 2022.

Foster to Adopt: Start with Love

If you are thinking of becoming a foster parent with the intention of adopting the foster child. We have three words for you this holiday season: Start with Love.

Thank you Dr. John- Foster Care Institute

We are so proud that Dr. John has put out a recommendation for us to Foster Care professionals in both US State Governments and Foster Agencies across US States. We specialize in the front end of recruiting quality prospective foster parents through technology. And its important for foster care professionals and foster parents to know that we understand their challenging but rewarding work. Thank you Dr. John for putting out a good word!

What are the expectations from Foster Parents?

There seems to be a lot of expectations from foster parents. And the trouble is that these expectations can be unclear for both foster parents and agencies.We urge foster parents and agencies to have a one page checklist (see the Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande) of parent expectations for every child because the child’s situation can be very different.

Don’t confuse Foster Care with Adoption

For those not deeply familiar with the Child Welfare System there is a common confusion that Foster Care is somehow similar to Adoption. Multiple website’s content from different folks often use the terms interchangeably. Since this adversely affects the recruitment and work of foster parents we wish to clarify for all prospective foster parents out there:

What Motivates Foster Parents?

Foster parents are kind and caring people. It takes a good heart to step up and care for a child unrelated to you (foster care) or even related to you (kinship foster care). We found a great piece of research on what motivates foster parents by Tracy E. MacGregor, Susan Rodger, Anne L. Cummings, and Alan W. Leschied. titled “The needs of foster parents: A qualitative study of motivation, support, and retention.” in the journal Qualitative social work Vol. 5, no. 3 (2006): pages 351-368.
Here is a summary of intrinsic and extrinsic and motivators based on research in the US and elsewhere the authors identified:

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