No, I am not going back to get my masters (yet) or taking a pottery class at the local community library, but I am going to a class tonight. Foster Parenting Class to be exact. Every state has different requirements on the number of hours required for foster parents to complete before beginning to care for kids and a number required in every following year after becoming licensed.
I completed my required hours when I was initially licensed and through support groups and such have a far amount of hours in this year. However, I still have to get in some initial trainings that I missed. They are only offered so often and being a single parent makes it tricky to get childcare once a week, on the allotted weeks. But tonight and for at least the next few weeks, I have childcare - and I get to go learn.
One well-learned lesson from my years at college was NEVER STOP LEARNING. And this is doubly important as a foster parent. Kids we welcome into our home come from every possible background. In my case, I have seen strengths and weaknesses in myself and in my parenting that vary and change with every new child. I don't want to become complacent in thinking I am (semi) experienced now, so I must KNOW what I'm doing. I am too smart to think I know it all - and so I am excited to go learn more.
The topics that will be covered in the following weeks are:
- The Impact of Abuse and Neglect on Normal Development
- Sexual Abuse
- The Effects of Care-giving on the Family
- Permanency Issues for Families
- Team building
- Cultural Issues in Placements
- Attachment, Separation and Placement
- Family Systems of Abuse and Neglect
- Primary Families
- Permanency Issues for Children