- The video[s] of actual families dealing with the topics we are covering, brings the material to life.
- I liked the perspective and real-life scenarios provided by the facilitator.
- I enjoyed the discussion and brainstorming opportunities. I also loved the video with personal experiences shared.
- I enjoyed the case studies a lot. It was fun to test our knowledge in a real-life scenario.
- The presentation of the material; the facilitators articulated the material in a well-rounded, engaged, and insightful way.
- The different levels of information we are receiving is great. I am learning so much and just having these conversations have opened my eyes to a lot of things about fostering.
- This is so important and I’m glad we’re receiving this training! I found talking about examples and how we would handle the situation was very helpful.
- I love the team interactions/breakout sessions. It helps with getting to know one another and even provides insight into how challenging some of the scenarios will be.
- The video examples from both real foster families & from the movie Instant Family help make the topics we’re learning about more relatable & meaningful.
- How informative everything is, there is a lot of stuff I didn’t have any idea about that I have learned so far in the trainings.
- I like how it used multiple avenues of teaching to tailor to everyone.
- This training answered more questions than any other one. Thank you!
- Podcasts were engaging and shared useful information.
- The training is very informative and provides many resources to help us once we become parents to look back on.
- I liked how we are able to follow along with the instructor with our manual.
- Training material is really good.
- I liked the interactive aspect of the training. We were not just being lectured at. We were part of the presentation and we are encouraged to participate.
- Really liked the abundance of video examples; very good take-homes.
Separation, Grief and Loss
- I liked how the training was designed to be interactive and engaging. It made me think beyond my preconceived ideas.
- Just a reminder to me that it is so important to understand the ways children could experience grief and loss and that to put things into perspective on what happens when they are removed.
- The videos were very helpful and engaging. The information was repeated a lot, but I actually think that was helpful to engrain it into my memory.
- The videos and podcast were very informative. The best was the activity where we had to list 10 things/people we would take with us. Very eye opening for how difficult the transition would be for a child.
Reunification – the Primary Permanency Planning Goal
- I liked the video of the bio-parent and foster parent. I thought the information was presented in very engaging ways, and the material was very practical and helpful.
- I really appreciated the information contained in this training that allowed us to learn more about the role foster parents play in reunification efforts.
- It was most helpful to get a good understanding of concurrent planning and how to parent in light of that uncertainty.
Parenting in Racially and Culturally Diverse Families
- I felt like it was a very difficult subject for people to discuss in the past but our group was very open in discussion and wanted to learn more.
- Understanding the perception of being colorblind as passive. Definitely not a word I will use in the future, as the definition is far different than I thought! Very useful. I also love all of the awareness this lesson brings.
- This was highly informative and very helpful; loved the practical examples that were used. The activity that helped us see how diverse our life/connections are now was powerful and very eye opening.
- This training opened my eyes to how much I lack diversity in my social circles and makes me want to expand my diversity.
- Training was amazing. Talking about race and culture and getting other races to understand my everyday life.
- The Diversity Bead Activity was very eye opening. Definitely using that in our church to encourage people to connect with and build relationally people who don’t look like them.
Mental Health Considerations
- Great discussion about helpful information and reminders on mental health illness. Videos were helpful and hearing from others too.
- I thought it was informative and helpful to know the effects of trauma and how the behaviors can look like mental disorders at times, also on my role in administering medication.
- Opened my eyes to mental health considerations that we may encounter and that are common in kids in care.
Maintaining Children’s Connections with Siblings, Extended Family Members and their Community
- Having more of an understanding about the importance of connections with foster kids not only with siblings, family members, and parents (if able).
- I liked learning how important a child’s bond is with their parents and siblings, and what I can do to support it.
Impact of Substance Use
- Such a heavy topic. Just talking about it and all the prep material was helpful.
- Great discussion on FAS. Case studies were helpful to think through and discuss. Helpful to hear foster parent as an instructor experience of having a FAS foster child.
- The case studies were helpful in thinking through ways to help a child dealing with these symptoms.
- Breaking down the social, emotional, intellectual ages of a child.
- I need to be creative and think of ways to change the child’s behavior in a positive manner vs. a disciplinary manner.
- Learning more about FASD and that it is a brain injury and a parent should consider alternative ways when asking a child to follow specific household rules.
- It was very interesting to see how FASD can present in different ways. I thought it was interesting that it can affect problem solving skills.
- Practicing the conversations with children – harder than I thought it would be.
- Learning how to communicate with sensitive conversations.
- Giving clear explanations for the different parts of what makes up effective communication. Videos that show how to implement the different techniques.
- The communicating about adoption questions from the child was helpful. I will definitely use this.
- Lots of video clip scenarios today that were helpful. Liked the podcast as well!
- I like the part that lets me know how to keep in mind to regulate myself first.
- Learning how to effectively respond to a child when they are telling you about their trauma or how they are feeling.
- I appreciated the examples in which we walked through the best way to handle each situation (using empowering language for the child who had a messy room, making food available and including the child in planning for children with food hoarding issues, etc.)
- Using different ways to communicate with the child to make it easier for them to grieve, to talk about the past.
- It was wonderful learning about different ways we can make a child feel like they belonged in our home.
- Great conversation and how to incorporate their culture in being a part of our family no matter where their culture is from and looks like.
- Finding out ways to incorporate children’s cultures into our everyday life. Learning ways to bring their culture into our home and also away from the home.
- I liked the different examples they use of children that are feeling out of place due to their culture and the different actions we can take to ally with them.
- The training was important because it shows the importance of making a child feel a part of the family with incorporating their beliefs, customs, and activities in our daily lives.
- I love the podcasts they give so much information about what to expect when caring for children. letting us know to be open minded to other culture to make the child to feel comfortable and supported.
- Understanding the meaning and importance of cultural humility and cultural responsiveness when fostering/adopting children when interacting with or talking about birth family.
Accessing Services and Supports
- Made me think outside the box when it comes to seeking help for the family.
- It validated some of our fears as future foster parents. As in–it is okay to not be perfect. It is okay to feel overwhelmed. It is okay to feel a little jealous/annoyed at the birth parent. (Obviously, not acting/responding in an untoward manner.) This really humanized the process.
- Very interactive and learned a lot on different triggers and how to stay calm in difficult situations.
- The segment where we reviewed movie clips to practice identifying “states” for each person in the scene was a great bit of skills practice.
- I liked learning about the 3 R’s. I find that it could be really helpful. I also liked the videos showing the different behaviors and how to recognize them.
- Just overall reminders for me the importance of how we, the parents, need to stay on track and stay calm. And there is hope that the child will feel safe even if they have traumas as long as they are given love and nurture.
- I really liked the Instant Family clips because it helped me identify the behaviors in real-life scenarios.
- The real-life experiences and being able to express yourself in terms of how you would approach situations are key.
- Learning the different areas of the brain and how trauma and other actions are related to which area of the brain is being used by that individual. Really shows people can be in the same situation but act differently from each other.
- Definitely going to need this information! There will be no way around it!
- Videos from Dr. Perry (and others) are the most engaging part of the training and I get the most out of those sections.
- The discussion of parents’ need for self-care – I had not considered that parents need to regulate themselves as well.
- Well I learned so much. I can’t believe we are not supposed to use punishment to discipline. I am still trying to wrap my brain around that one. but I understand now the most important thing is to make the child feel safe.
- This was a very useful and practical session. Appreciated the tools and tactics.
- I like the most about this training is that I must keep in mind to regulate the situation at all times.
- The 3 R’s was really helpful and accessible.
- The clips from Instant Family which was extremely well done and gives a nice picture of some of the challenges that will be faced in foster care.
- It teaches you the ways to react with positive enforcement and ways to help trauma related behaviors.
- Learning about grounding was very beneficial.
- I thought the calming techniques were helpful.
Creating a Stable, Nurturing, Safe Home Environment
- Learning the STEPS. I think it will be really helpful.
- I liked this class a lot because it held my attention and had a lot of good information plus follow up reading to use.
- I enjoyed the videos that show what not to do and then what to do instead.
- I liked the podcast and prework. The examples of things to do to help create a nurturing environment were helpful.
Preparing for and Managing Intrusive Questions
- This sections really had me think about how to address not only my family but also strangers when the questions are about my foster child. Discussing different scenarios really had me thinking how would I address some of these potential interactions.
- The example where we discussed how you would share parts of a child’s story in truthful but developmentally appropriate ways was most helpful.
- Learning how important it is for a child to have their story be their story, and how important their privacy is.
Foster Care – A Means to Support Families
- Gave us lots of supports and training on scenarios and how to support the child’s family during this process no matter what that may look like.
- Foster movie clips were very helpful. Gave a real picture of how a family can end up in foster care and want to get their family back together.
- This was the best one so far it really opened my mind to see things from the biological parent’s perspective and have more empathy.
- Helpful by demonstrating how to approach fostering always remembering the goal of fostering and knowing that it will take a team.
- Keeping it real, expressing that emotions are valid while providing techniques in processing different situations.
- Wonderful activities to foster empathy for bio families. Really impactful.
- I like that there are videos to show the reality of the parents who are fostering the child as well as what the child/birth parents have gone through.
- The best part of the training was chronological vs emotions and social age.
- I liked learning about the developmental traits of certain ages – this made me more aware of where my biological child sits. I think it will help me keep in tune with trying to clearly understand a foster or adopted child’s developmental age and how to interact accordingly.
- Learning how a child of one age could act completely like a different age and learning that you have to parent that child depending on their developmental age.
- The podcast with Dr. Bruce Perry was very insightful.
- Very informative and contained a lot of different information from different sources.
- I thought the case study on Randy was very enlightening.
- It was very informative and I have been a foster parent since 2015 and still learned stuff that was insightful.
- Practical tools for understanding developmental questions and supporting healthy environment.
- I liked receiving an overview of milestones that are typical of a child’s chronological age. This will better help us identify where the child falls developmentally and can help us gear our parenting to better suit them.
- I appreciated learning more about infant trauma.
- It is all reminding me of tools that I need to improve on with my daughter, which I love. We all need those reminders!
- Learning about different types of attachment and what they mean – as well as understanding how children experience grief differently than adults. I feel equipped to understand behaviors.
- I really liked the JAR acronym because I can use it for different age groups, it’s easy to remember, and is pretty specific.
- I enjoyed understanding how the terms and philosophies applied to how I was raised, developed attachment, and attached with my biological child.
- The videos were engaging, and the content got me thinking about these issues.
- I loved hearing the experiences from a foster parent and how they applied the principles just as the Jar method.
- I really like the JAR technique!!
- The videos were great. The learning material was very insightful. I liked all of it.
- Going over the various types of attachment. Making us think about our own attachment type. Making us think how we need to change our parenting styles based on the child’s attachment issues.
- Learning about different types of attachment and how they manifest into adulthood. Great tool for us as foster parents to be able to see where a child is at and to see where we need to grow.
- Loved this discussion all together. Kept my attention. Easy to follow!
- The visual examples (videos) and prop (JAR) were helpful for visual learners.
- I enjoyed the talk about the attachment and how it affects the child in many different ways on how attached we are to the child!
- I really liked learning the different types of attachment. These helped provide insight into my own personality and my husband’s. From this connection, we have a better idea of how we would like to parent and not parent.