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Engaging Primary Families: Strategies to Support Successful Reunification

About the Course

The goals of child welfare, safety, permanency and well being are more likely to be achieved when foster parents and primary parents effectively collaborate and work as a cohesive team. This course is designed for foster parents who are interested in learning about family-centered community-based practice. In this paradigm, foster parents and primary parents team together from the start of in-home placement until reunification. The course will focus on the importance of building strong relationships with primary families, as well as practical strategies for engaging and collaborating with them.

The course will begin by exploring the history and philosophy behind family-centered community-based practice, and its benefits for children in foster care. It will then cover the mindsets and skill sets necessary for effective collaboration, including communication strategies, conflict resolution, and cultural competence.

Throughout the course, participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions about birth families, and to examine how these might impact their interactions with them. By the end of the course, participants will have a deeper understanding of the benefits of family-centered community-based practice, as well as the practical skills necessary to implement it in their own lives as foster parents. They will be better equipped to work collaboratively with birth families, and to support positive outcomes for the children

Learning Objectives

1) Explain the philosophy and benefits of family-centered community-based practice as an engagement tool for primary families.

2) Develop practical strategies for effective communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution with primary families.

3) Analyze and challenge personal beliefs and assumptions about primary families and recognize the importance of cultural competence in working with diverse families.

4) Apply knowledge and skills gained in the course to create and maintain strong relationships with primary families throughout the foster care journey, from in-home placement to reunification.

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