More than 6,700 West Virginia children are in foster care, and communities throughout the state are in desperate need for more loving foster homes. If you’re interested in fostering a child or teen, you may have wondered, “What’s the training class like to prepare myself for taking a child into my home?” To become a foster or adoptive parent, you must complete a free 30-hour training course called PRIDE (Parent Resource Information Development and Education). This course will help you build skills for caring for children who have experienced neglect or abuse and, as a result, may have physical, emotional or educational difficulties. This is also a great opportunity to decide if fostering is right for you. Below, see what other KVC parents have said about the class.
Sarah Nielsen, a current KVC foster parent, said:
“After the first few classes, I realized how necessary and beneficial they are. The information-packed classes got my husband and me thinking and discussing how our family could best serve children in foster care.”
Cristin Hartranft, another foster parent said:
“We couldn’t believe we had to take weeks of classes to help these sweet children that needed a home. We have kids so couldn’t imagine what more we needed to learn. We were proved wrong after the first class. The classes helped prepare us for the trauma these kids have been through. Afterwards, we wanted more! The teachers and material were incredibly helpful!”
Children in foster care have endured traumatic stress such as abuse, neglect or witnessed violence. For most people, even experienced parents, trauma is a new concept. The children’s trauma directly affects the way they act, think, interpret (or don’t interpret) and express their own feelings. This means parenting children in foster care could look significantly different from parenting children who have not experienced trauma.
Childhood trauma is one of the biggest focuses in the PRIDE course because it enables adults to provide the what’s known as “trauma-informed care.” Trauma and its impact on a person’s brain and behaviors are discussed extensively so every potential foster or adoptive parent is equipped to help children heal and create a healthy future.
Becoming a foster parent is a big decision that requires a lot of conversation. It’s not a decision that most people make overnight or even over a few days. The weeks of training classes allow people to absorb all the material so they can process it and make an informed decision about whether foster care is right for them or not. In the same way, the leaders of the class are able to spend enough time getting to know each prospective family so they can also make an informed decision about whether the family will match KVC’s values and goals moving forward.
If you are interested in learning more about the foster/adoptive parent training classes or would like to sign up, please contact us today.