Family Foster Care and Kinship Care (CA-FKC) 19: Resource Family Training and Preparation
InterpretationTraining and other preparation activities should be structured to offer prospective resource parents exposure to real-life examples of caring for children that come into care, such as children that have experienced trauma and maltreatment and/or may exhibit emotional/behavioural challenges.
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PurposeChildren in Family Foster Care and Kinship Care live in safe, stable, nurturing, and often temporary family settings that best provide the continuity of care to preserve relationships, promote well-being, and ensure permanency.
- Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
- Procedures need strengthening; or
- With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
- For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
- Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
- Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
- Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
- Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
- Timeframes are often missed; or
- Several client records are missing important information; or
- Client participation is inconsistent.
- No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
- Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.
|Self-Study Evidence||On-Site Evidence||On-Site Activities|
Resource parents receive pre-service training on rights and responsibilities that addresses:
- the organization’s mission, logic model or equivalent framework, and service array;
- the rights of children in care;
- what resource families should expect when they take in a child;
- the competencies needed for effective resource parenting, and how those competencies are integral to the organization’s logic model or equivalent framework;
- specific duties of resource parents, including administrative responsibilities;
- available supports and services;
- identification and reporting of abuse and neglect;
- any fees or reimbursement for services, including compensation for damages caused by children placed in the home, as applicable;
- notice of and participation in any review or hearing regarding the child;
- procedures when allegations are made, and ways to prevent false allegations;
- complaint procedures; and
- circumstances that will result in revoking a resource family license or certification.
InterpretationWhen working with unlicensed kin, organizations in some provinces or territories may have the discretion to waive training requirements that they deem non-essential in an effort to encourage placement with relatives.
- strategies for providing support appropriate to children’s ages and developmental levels;
- promoting positive behaviour and healing through coaching, nurturing, and positive discipline techniques;
- recognizing and responding to behaviours that jeopardize health and well-being, including de-escalation techniques;
- signs and symptoms of trauma, including triggers/antecedents for challenging behaviours;
- providing protection and promoting psychological safety to mediate the effects of trauma, maltreatment, separation, loss, and exploitation; and
- preventing and responding to missing children, including understanding factors that may contribute to the decision to run away, reporting protocols, and how to support children upon their return.
Interpretation Regarding element (f), educating resource parents on sex trafficking is a critical component to prevention, identification, and treatment. Education should address topics such as internet safety, how to respond when a child runs away, and developing healthy relationships. Additionally, education should emphasize the issue of stigma associated with prostitution to help resource families provide healthy, nonjudgmental home environments that are supportive of a successful reintegration.
Resource parents receive pre-service and/or ongoing training and support to demonstrate competency in:
- supporting and facilitating children’s emotional, physical, and legal permanency;
- meeting children’s developmental needs across life domains, including addressing any developmental delays;
- caring for a child of a different race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity;
- supporting children's social identity development;
- supporting and facilitating family relationships, friendships, cultural ties, and community connections;
- collaborating with family team members and service providers; and
- managing the caregiver role, stress and self-care, and the impact on the family.
Interpretation Resource families caring for parenting youth placed together with the youths’ children should also receive training and support to demonstrate competency in modeling positive parenting practices, supporting youth parents to meet their children’s needs, and meeting the dual developmental needs of the parenting youth and their children.
Interpretation Kinship Care Programs that are not required to provide a comprehensive competency-based training program may offer support groups or skill-building sessions that help kinship caregivers develop the competencies rather than offering a comprehensive training program.
Examples: To promote culturally competent care with regard to element (c), training may address:
- the history, traditions, values, and communication styles of populations served;
- systemic inequities and implicit bias; and
- how culture influences trauma response.
Examples: Family Foster Care programs that work with kin and nonrelative resource parents may find it valuable to provide separate training for kinship caregivers in order to provide a space in which kinship caregivers can relate to each other and apply the training to their specific experiences of caring for their kin.
If resources do not allow for separate training the training facilitator can work to incorporate the experience of both groups into the training. Training facilitators can follow up with kinship caregivers about their concerns and the training experience, to ensure that their particular concerns can be addressed in the training or at another time by the staff working with their family. Some of the specific training and support needs of kin may relate to negotiating family dynamics, the experience of family trauma, managing boundaries, and discipline traditions.
- first aid and age-appropriate CPR at least every two years, including a hands-on, in-person CPR skills assessment conducted by a certified CPR instructor;
- medication administration, including retraining at least every two years;
- protocols for responding to emergencies including accidents, serious illnesses, fires, and natural and human-caused disasters; and
- medical or rehabilitation interventions and operation of medical equipment required for a child’s care, as needed.
Interpretation Regarding element (b), training should address the use of psychotropic medications with children and youth in foster care, the resource parent’s role in communicating with prescribers and monitoring symptoms and side effects, and how to recognize and raise concerns around dosage, polypharmacy, and age-related contraindications.
Note: Elements (a) and (b) are not required for unlicensed kinship caregivers.
Resource parents sign a statement indicating that for children placed in their care they agree to:
- report suspected abuse and neglect;
- employ positive discipline techniques;
- refrain from using physical and degrading punishment; and
- ensure that others refrain from using physical and degrading punishment.
The organization evaluates the effectiveness of its pre-service and ongoing training programs, identifies areas for improvement, and develops a plan to address unmet training needs.
Examples: Evaluating training effectiveness and identifying emerging training or re-training needs can be done through:
- the organization’s annual mutual review with the resource family;
- satisfaction surveys;
- reviews of critical incidents; and
- analysis of the characteristics and diagnoses of children in care.
Improvement plans may include enhancing existing standardized training modules, offering supplemental in-service trainings, or strengthening relevant competencies through worker contact.