In an effort to provide a greater professional and nurturing environment for youth that are in foster care, Foster VC Kids, a division of Ventura County’s Children & Family Services, is working with a new groundbreaking foster parent training module developed to improve the quality of partnership, care, training and support within the child welfare system. A by-product of the Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI), 21st Century Foster Parenting training refocuses on trauma informed care, excellence in parenting for foster youth and a strong partnership between foster and relative caregivers, birth parents and agency staff.
The driving force behind this new training is QPI, a collaborative effort with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA), and other state child welfare agencies and foster care partners. QPI works to create a professional, child/ family specific support for the child who enters into care, by engaging foster caregivers and birth parents as integral partners. Caregivers, parents, mental health workers, Court Appointed Special Advocates, child welfare staff and community partners work together to respectfully and professionally ensure that the care provided to children supports their healthy development and gives them the best possible opportunity for success and a normal upbringing. Training topics range from health issues, behaviors, parenting, caring for teens, transitions, trauma and partnering with birth families.
“For a moment, just imagine giving up your family — your dad, your mom and siblings, give up your beloved pets, sometimes give up your school and friends, that’s what we ask of these children who come into care,” says Angelina McCormick Soll LCSW Foster Home Recruitment, Development, & Support Specialist from Foster VC Kids.
Caregivers will work with a team to advocate for children with the welfare system, the court, and community agencies, including schools, child care, health providers and employers. Foster caregivers are expected to participate fully in the youth’s medical, psychological, dental care and support the child’s emotional and educational stability and wellbeing with the hope they will be reunited with their family soon. For our older teens, families are shown how to work with a team to provide developmentally appropriate opportunities to allow youth to thrive, practice life skills and have hands-on experiences in preparation for adulthood.
Ventura County was selected to host the statewide QPI conference for its utilization of QPI training. The conference will be held on Thursday, September 24 and Friday, September 25 at the Crowne Plaza. The event will include a welcome reception, keynote addresses from state and local foster care leaders, networking meals, and small group discussions on topics relevant to quality care and partnership.
To learn more about Foster VC Kids and QPI, visit http://fostervckids.org.