Your decision to become a foster parent is exciting! You’re committing to a new journey with a selfless and caring goal: to positively impact the life of a child. At this point, you and your partner may have more questions than answers – this is natural! In Nebraska, TFI offers families two different training options: the Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) and Deciding Together. MAPP is a 30-hour group/individual training combination while Deciding Together is 21-hours of one-on-one instruction. While the formats differ slightly, each training has the same goal: to help foster parents focus on their strengths, build skills, and a network of support.
Foster parent training will allow you to examine individual, relationship, and family strengths while learning how to recognize your foster child’s strengths. Coupled with an understanding of childhood and adolescent development you will gain an understanding of how to communicate and respond in a variety of situations. Applying and recognizing strengths will be important as you help the child cope with traumas they may have experienced, begin teaching healthy behaviors, and help them build self-esteem.
While training is delivered in different formats and varies in length, the outcome of training is for you and your partner to enhance your communication and goal-setting skills. By working through the MAPP or Deciding Together curriculums you will learn how to respond to and positively affect your child’s transition to foster care. Through active sessions, you will prepare for conversations about grief and loss and how to guide your child through these difficult emotions.
Network of Support
From the first meeting forward you will begin to build a support system for your new life as foster parents. Trainers, agency personnel, and fellow group members act as an extended family on this new adventure. Lean on them as you navigate the changes up ahead.