Starting with “Why”.
The decision to serve as a foster parent is not something that one takes lightly. There are numerous reasons why a person may decide to do become certified as a foster parent. Some of these reasons may include:
Whatever a person’s reasons for serving as a foster parent, there is still one underlying reason at the heart of why foster parents serve in this capacity: a genuine desire to help a child or youth succeed and grow. Certified foster parents want each child in their care, along with the family of that child, to succeed and be whole again. In order to successfully serve the needs of abused and neglected minors (and young adults in extended foster care), the agency must employ foster parents who are aware of the needs of these types of individuals. Foster parents who are compassionate and understanding of the plight of abused and neglected children will typically have a bit more patience in dealing with the possible children from these backgrounds. As a result of this belief, the successful recruitment and ongoing training of foster parents is paramount to beginning to work successfully with abused and neglected children.
Updating Language with AB 403
Foster care is changing and A Coming of Age Foster Family Agency must not only adhere to these changes but wants to make sure that our foster parents are fully educated about all of these changes. For this reason, A Coming of Age FFA is preparing, and training our foster parents, for the major overhaul of the foster care program as a result of AB403 (Stone): Continuum of Care Reform and the Resource Family Approval process that is currently underway at this time. Certified foster parents are continuing to be educated to the extensive changes associated with this particular bill that are currently underway and those additional changes that begin to take effect on January 1, 2017.
Beginning on January 1, 2017, the term “foster parent” will no longer be used and instead that term will be replaced by the new terminology that foster parents will then begin to be called, “Resource Parents.” As part of the ongoing education for resource parents effective January 1, 2017, A Coming of Age FFA is working hard to acclimate all certified foster parents of our agency to the new changes and are providing our foster parents will additional training in various areas that resource parents are expected to received additional training in. A Coming of Age Foster Family Agency not only expects to be providing increase training to our current certified foster/resource parents but expects to see an increase in the attendance of our training classes as we serve the needs of our community as a result of these changes with AB403.
The Continuum of Care Reform (CCR)
The Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) draws together a series of existing and new reforms to our child welfare services program designed out of an understanding that children who must live apart from their biological parents do best when they are cared for in committed nurturing family homes. AB 403 provides the statutory and policy framework to ensure services and supports provided to the child or youth and his or her family are tailored toward the ultimate goal of maintaining a stable permanent family. Reliance on congregate care should be limited to short-term, therapeutic interventions that are just one part of a continuum of care available for children, youth and young adults.
The Fundamental Principles of CCR :
For more information on the Continuum of Care Reform, it is recommended that foster parents review the toolkit available at the community care licensing website.
Resource Family Approval
RFA is a new family-friendly and child-centered caregiver approval process that combines elements of the current foster parent licensing, relative approval, and approvals for adoption and guardianship processes and replaces those processes.
The RFA and the Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) support the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR).
The RFA process improves the way caregivers (related and non-related) of children in foster care are approved and prepared to parent vulnerable children, whether temporarily or permanently.
The QPI, in partnership with caregivers, aims to redesign child welfare organizations at the local level to better recruit, support and retain quality foster caregivers who can effectively parent vulnerable children and youth.
Together, the RFA and QPI efforts work to build the capacity of the continuum of foster care placement options to better meet the needs of vulnerable children in home based family care. This increased capacity is essential to successfully moving children out of congregate care, which is a goal of CCR.
For more information about RFA: http://www.childsworld.ca.gov/res/RFA/pdf/RFA_Overview.pdf
Foster Parent Advisory Committee
In an effort to prepare for the upcoming changes associated with Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) and Resource Family Approval (RFA), A Coming of Age FFA has been hosting additional private meetings with foster parents in order to provide additional training in some of the required areas that “Resource Parents” must receive additional training in. To date, additional training has been provided in the following areas:
These meetings also allow for the Administrator to receive more personal feedback from foster parent about the changes that will impact Resource Parents associated with A Coming of Age Foster Family Agency and elsewhere. These meetings also provide resource parents the opportunity to voice their concerns and provide support to each other about the topics that are discussed. It is recommended that all current parents of A Coming of Age Foster Family Agency continue to join us as these appointments are scheduled. The dates of future Committee meetings are as follows: TBA