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Mutual Help, Training & Info for All Foster Parents

At times, a foster parent can feel alone. No one understands the challenges, stress and frustration of being a foster parent.

Whether you’re a newly licensed foster parent, or have been fostering for years, group home or private, toddlers or teens, therapeutic, medically fragile, or regular, youth parole or independent living, this community is for you.

Here, you can share ideas, experience, ask questions and provide answers to other foster parents, caseworkers, and professionals involved in foster care. This is a “Private” community for a purpose.: To allow honest, respectful discussion about issues related to foster care.

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She raised 12 foster kids. Now she helps other families do it.

From the Christian Science Monitor People Making a Difference Series.

Vicki Houska raised 12 foster kids. Now she helps other families do it.

She lined her St. Louis-area basement with freezers and shelves and began distributing food, diapers, and toiletries free to local foster families.

Click on the Title Above to Read the Story Here.

Who’s a Mandated Child Abuse Reporter? You are!

Approximately 48 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands designate professions whose members are mandated by law to report suspected child maltreatment.

Included are foster parents.

Often, abused children in foster care know other children who have been or are being abused.  It is our responsibility as foster parents to report.  No proof of abuse or neglect is needed, only “reasonable suspicion” that child abuse or neglect may have occurred.

The primary intent of the reporting law is to protect the child from abuse and neglect. However, a report of suspected child abuse or neglect may also present an opportunity to provide help for the family.

We now offer access to 6 Hours of Certified Mandated Reporter Training.

For more information about the training, click on either TRAINING LOGIN or Training Topics Offered in the Menu.

An excellent, detailed FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about Mandated Reporting of suspected child abuse can found here.

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A common topic for discussion among foster care providers is the lack of government funding and the low rates paid foster parents.

Too often, we just complain and that’s it.

Most of us probably have little interest in politics. But if you want change to happen for the better, you have to advocate for improvements with your legislative representatives.

Effective advocacy takes work but the payoff can be great.

In the near future, we will be offering an Effective Advocacy for Foster Care Training Topic as well as access to a professional advocate consultant.

In the meantime, take any opportunity you have to “button hole” your legislative representatives at all levels to advocate for more support for foster parents and the children in their care.

Here are a few points to advocate for:

  • Increased reimbursement to foster parents
  • More caseworkers
  • Medicaid coverage for foster children’s dental care
  • Better access to psychiatric & psychological services, particularly in rural areas
  • Recognition of foster parents as professionals for the 24-7 work we do

Effective advocacy begins with you and all foster parents making our voices heard.  The more of us who speak out, the more likely improvements will happen.

What would you like to advocate for regarding foster care?  Use our contact link in our site menu to tell us.


Occasionally, a link to an off-site Training Topic may not work.  Because much of our training is based on other sites, we rely on our members to notify us when a Training Topic is no longer accessible.  We apologize for any inconvenience these broken links may cause and appreciate your cooperation in letting us know.

In some cases, the Training Topic may have a new link, in which case we make the correction so you can connect with it.  Other times, a particular Training Topic has been removed and we delete it from our list of Training Topics.

Autistic Teen Befriends Apple’s Siri

[NOTE:  To activate the links in this posting, click on the title above.]

A heartwarming story of love, patience, and technology.

Are you a foster parent of an autistic child?  This story from National Public Radio may be of interest.  It’s just under 4 minutes.  Click Here to listen.  Or to read the story as published in the New York Times, Click Here.

4 Hrs New Youth Credit Training Added

As of 2013, in an attempt to stem identity fraud, Federal law now requires all agencies to obtain an annual Credit Report for any youth in foster care from age 16 until they age out or discharged.  We’ve added 4 hours of training credit for our members dealing with this topic under “Youth and Credit”.  The training addresses how to obtain a credit report and protecting the credit of foster care youth.


13-yr Old Virginia Boy Creates Site to Track Bullying

“Viraj Puri, a 13-year-old schoolboy from Virginia, is hoping to harness the  power of digital information – to tackle bullying.  He showed the BBC’s Jane O’Brien the website – currently in development – which would enable families to pinpoint bullying incidents.”

From BBC News Magazine – Living Online.  View the story here.