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This course provides caregivers with information on technology and precautions caregivers can take to protect children in their care. Topics include examining realistic dangers of current technology, exploring social media apps, and recognizing factors that can leave youth vulnerable to dangers online and through other technology.
• Describe a realistic view of the dangers of current technology, including the internet and cell phone applications
• Explain the wide range of social networking tools and websites.
• Discuss why social networking appeals to youth and the positive influence it can have on a youth’s social development
• Recognize factors that leave some youth vulnerable to dangers on the internet and other technology applications
• Examine ways caregivers can enhance protective factors to help keep children safe on the internet and other technology
• Identify online and community resources to help keep children and youth safe
This course examines ways to support transgender youth and the challenges and barriers transgender youth face within the child welfare system. Participants will discuss and differentiate gender identity, sexual orientation, gender expression, and transgender. This course will discuss policy, physical space, and safety relative to transgender youth in care.
• Define key terms; discuss and differentiate gender identity, sexual orientation, gender expression, and transgender
• Discuss aspects of medical transition
• Differentiate between myths and facts about the trans community
• Discuss policy, physical space, and safety relative to transgender youth in care
• Discuss the challenges and stigma faced by transgender youth
• Review relevant legislation and public policy
A Voluntarily Mediated Agreement (VMA) is an option for the birth parent(s), adoptive parent(s) and adoptee to craft an agreement for ongoing communication and/or visitation that is in the best interest of a child. It recognizes each person’s interests, and is also legally enforceable by the courts.
This course describes the VMA process, defines legal terms, and examines protocols to give participants the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to effectively participate in mediation and judicial determinations. The course emphasizes the importance of building relationships with the birth family prior to the VMA process. By defining child-centered and family-focused planning, the course explores ways VMAs can address the core issues in adoption, including grief and loss. The roles of the mediator, the birth parent, the adoptee, the adoptive parent, and others are defined. Ways to support the youth’s role in the mediation process, the format of the mediation process, and types of post-adoption contact are also explored.
• Examine the benefits of post-adoption contact to both the child and the families involved, and understand the purpose of Voluntarily Mediated Agreements.
• Define the terms used in Voluntarily Mediated Agreements
• Explain the legal process, protocol, and common legal issues in mediation
• Outline the roles of those involved in mediation
• Discuss the importance of the process and plan to be child-centered and family-focused
• Discuss the balance between pre-planning and approaching the process without pre-conceived outcomes
• Plan how to use a mediation session effectively, including identifying the best interest of the child and families, exploring options, managing pressure, and defusing emotions
• Identify resources that are available to support parents and children before, during, and after the VMA process
This course provides caregivers with an understanding of the adolescent years. Topics discussed include exploring adolescent development theories and how developmental tasks may be influenced by foster care placements. Participants will gain knowledge of potential risk factors and explore ways to increase protective factors for teens.
• Identify theories of adolescent development and how life tasks may be affected by placement in foster care
• Explore how brain development during adolescence affects the decision-making process
• Discuss how issues of attachment in early life can influence later-life development
• Describe challenging teen issues, including substance abuse, suicidality, and mental health, and explore preventive and treatment strategies and resources
• Explain key influences on adolescent development including, family, peers, and the media
• Recognize the influence of culture on development, including the prevalence of ageism in society
This course examines prolonged stress and trauma, its influence on children’s development, and positive interventions caregivers can use to increase the well-being of children in their care. Participants will examine the impact of poverty on family systems, develop an awareness of the complex dynamics of family violence, and explore ways to build resiliency.
• Identify emotional and physical neglect as a form of trauma
• Recognize physical abuse and witnessing domestic violence as forms of trauma
• Explain how the stress of prolonged trauma has the potential to undermine the architecture of brain development
• Evaluate how prolonged stress and trauma disrupts normal brain, social, and cognitive development
• Analyze and compare symptoms of compromised cognitive development
• Assess symptoms of trauma and the correlation to behavior
• Formulate a plan to create positive strategies that help children overcome symptoms and effects of trauma
• Identify positive interventions for parenting children who have experienced trauma
• Formulate strategies to help increase the overall well-being of children in care
• Assess the extent of the cognitive and emotional impact of trauma
This course provides foster parents with an overview of how permanency is attained and provides an introduction to 2018 court protocols. This course discusses the significant role caregivers have in achieving timely permanency for children. Participants will gain an understanding of the importance of concurrent planning and develop knowledge of the court process and associated timelines.
• Develop understanding of protocols that affect RSA 169-C cases when the concurrent or primary permanency plan is adoption
• Describe the importance of concurrent planning prior to the permanency hearing
• Examine the court process, the impact on time frames, and the importance active participation throughout the process
This course provides participants with insights into the signs and motivations of children who play with fire. Discussions include supervision procedures, fire safety plans, and effective fire safety skills. Participants will also explore using a strengths-based perspective to reduce the likelihood of fire setting behaviors.
• Identify common myths about children and fire, and ways our society impacts our fire problem
• Discuss motivational factors for children who set fires
• Implement supervision procedures to support children’s safety and treatment accountability.
• Implement positive and strength-based activities for youth to reduce future risk
• Create and implement fire safety procedures that provide protective strategies for the home or facility environment
• Demonstrate effective fire safety skills
This course explores various developmental disabilities, including the signs and symptoms that may impact an individual throughout their lifetime. This course provides caregivers with information to understand and meet the unique needs of children with developmental disabilities Resources, services, and educational supports will be discussed, as well as the impact caring for a child with developmental disabilities has on families.
• Discuss the prevalence of abuse, neglect, and trauma among children with developmental disabilities compared to the general population
• Describe of the parts of the brain that are affected by different developmental disabilities
• Identity resources and supports for families caring for children with developmental disabilities
• Recognize and describe different types of developmental disabilities and related symptoms
• Discuss social, cognitive, physical, and emotional facets of children with developmental disabilities
• Explain how developmental disabilities impact the child, family, and society
• Discuss challenges facing birth parents with developmental disabilities
• Describe the special education process in New Hampshire
• Discuss strategies for supporting a child’s educational goals
• Discuss ways to support birth families in better understanding the needs of a child with developmental disabilities
This course explores the benefits of working with birth families and examines birth family/foster family shared parenting partnerships. Topics include identifying opportunities to partner with birth families, understanding how parents’ past trauma may influence their ability to form trusting relationships and manage conflicts, and discussing techniques to model positive parenting techniques. Strategies for managing conflict resolution are also discussed.
• Define the principles and benefits of shared parenting
• Describe family-engagement techniques that enhance a parent’s ability to care for their child
• Identify stages of family development theory and benefits of solution-based questioning as part of family engagement
• Identify opportunities for partnering with birth parents
• Define the roles of the resource parent, the CPSW, and the birth parents in shared parenting
• Recognize the impact a parent’s past trauma may have on their ability to form a trusting relationship, manage conflict, and implement conflict management strategies
• Demonstrate strategies and opportunities for modeling and other instructional parenting techniques
• Recommend activities to increase or improve the interaction between father and child
• Develop and analyze Shared Parenting Plans
This course explores the impact planned and unplanned moves have on children in foster care, and provides caregivers with strategies to ease transitions. Topics include understanding how moves may reactivate emotional and behavioral responses to separation and placement, and how to discuss moves in an age-appropriate and sensitive manner. Exploring the use of transitional objects, and understanding the impact of transitions on caregivers, their families, as well as birth families will also be discussed.
• Identify stressors inherent in planned and unplanned moves including: disruption, reunification with the birth family, placement with relatives, independent living and placement in foster/adoptive homes or residential treatment
• Develop strategies to discuss reasons for moves in a sensitive and age-appropriate manner, and provide emotional support and reassurance to the child/youth in care
• Employ techniques that prepare the child/youth for transitions through the use of age appropriate activities, including: creating Lifebook’s, telling stories, encouraging discussion, and role playing situations involving issues of transition
• Discuss how moves reactivate emotional and behavioral responses to separation and placement and develop strategies to manage behavior and help children/youth cope with transition
• Recognize variables included in planning, arranging, and coordinating a move, including packing, providing information to the new caregiver, participating in preplacement visits, and arranging formal goodbyes
• Describe ways to assist children and youth in transferring attachments to another family or other individuals, and, when appropriate, maintain contact
• Discuss the importance of transitional objects when helping children adjust to placement changes
• Develop strategies to manage one’s response to a child or youth leaving foster or group care, as well as strategies to assist family members or residential staff with the transition
• Discuss the impact of placement transitions on birth families and articulate strategies to partner with birth families to manage transitions
This course explores the developmental changes that occur during adolescence and explores strategies for caregivers to communicate more effectively with adolescents. Participants will explore adolescent development and the disruptive impact trauma can have on development. Topics include determining warning signs of high risk behaviors and mental illness, as well as strategies to effectively communicate with teens.
• Identify the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social changes that take place during adolescence
• Understand the impact of trauma and disrupted development on adolescents in care.
• Identify high-risk behaviors that are common during adolescence
• Determine the warning signs of high-risk behaviors and mental illnesses during adolescence
• Distinguish between high-risk behaviors, signs of mental illness, and typical adolescent behavior
• Identify effective communication strategies to use with adolescents
This course provides an overview of the prevalence of child sexual abuse, and its effects upon children who have been victimized. Topics include the complexities of sexual abuse, its effects on a child, and how these effects may manifest within a home or residential environment. This course will offer caregivers suggestions on how to respond and support the child. Participants will explore ways to create a safe environment, strategies to prevent sexual abuse from occurring during placement, and the responsibilities of reporting disclosures or discoveries of child sexual abuse. This course will also discuss working with the non-offending parent, and how to protect oneself and family from false allegations.
• Define child sexual abuse
• Compare normal sexual behavior and knowledge in children at various developmental stages to sexual behavior and knowledge of children who have been victimized
• Examine personal values and beliefs and the influence these may have in working with children who are victims of sexual abuse
• Describe outward emotional and physical manifestations of child sexual abuse in children who have been abused.
• Examine characteristics and behavioral indicators of adults who molest children
• Examine the prevalence and vulnerability of children in placement as potential victims of child sexual abuse
• Discuss the impact of the abuse upon the family of the child, and the foster family and/or residential facility staff
This course examines how foster care can change and shape the family dynamics and relationships within the resource family. Topics include understanding family systems, exploring attachment disorders, and recognizing cultural diversity in foster families. Constructive ways to deal with stress within family relationships will be discussed.
• Define “family system” and explain how power, communication, and intergenerational relationships are integral parts of how families function
• Explain the effects of fostering on the relationships of the parent, child, siblings, spouse and/or other adults
• Identify ways in which early attachment deficits can affect reciprocal relationships with the foster family
• Identify how differences between a family's cultural background, values, beliefs, and those of the foster child's can affect a family’s functioning and balance.
• Discuss constructive ways to deal with stress within family relationships
This course takes a close look at adolescent behaviors. Participants will distinguish between developmentally appropriate behaviors and those that may be cause for concern. Topics include understanding adolescent brain development and its relation to impulse control, as well as examining how trauma impacts development. Participants will identify effective strategies and techniques to communicate, set boundaries, and have an overall positive impact on adolescent behavior.
• Identify important physical, emotional, and social development throughout adolescence
• Demonstrate an understanding of adolescent brain development
• Identify common risky behaviors of adolescents
• Explain how brain development is related to impulse control and risky behavior
• Explain how trauma affects development in adolescence
• Compare typical teenage behavior with atypical or problematic behavior
• Identify effective strategies and techniques for communicating with teens
• Examine effective strategies for setting boundaries with teens
• Demonstrate an understanding of developmentally appropriate rule-setting
• Consider and plan for collaborative work with birth parents to influence the behavior of youth in care in a positive manner
This course examines the potential impact a parent’s incarceration has on children and families. Participants will develop an understanding of the criminal justice process and corrections system in New Hampshire. Topics include exploring the emotional, behavioral, and social implications for children with an incarcerated parent, as well as identifying strategies for talking with children. Challenges that interfere with permanency planning, reunification, and parent-child contact, as well as approaches to address these obstacles will be discussed.
• Describe the federal, state, and county criminal justice process and corrections system in NH
• Recognize the impact of incarceration on the family
• Identify the emotional, behavioral, and social implications for the child of an incarcerated parent
• Identify strategies for talking with children about an incarcerated parent
• Identify obstacles that interfere with permanency planning, reunification, and parent-child contact for children with incarcerated parents, and identify strategies for addressing these challenges
• Develop and apply strategies to strengthen and support the parent-child relationship and reduce losses for the child
• Locate community, text, video and internet-based resources for additional information on incarceration and families
This course provides caregivers with information about the science of addiction, the impact on development, and the correlation between early trauma and substance abuse. Participants will examine New Hampshire specific statistics on drug and alcohol abuse among teens, as well as the types of substances most often abused. This course explores the signs and symptoms of adolescent substance abuse and the protective factors caregivers can put into place to mitigate substance use and abuse. Treatment options and available community resources for youth and families struggling with substance abuse will be discussed.
• Describe the science of addiction
• Demonstrate a basic knowledge about frequently abused drugs
• Recognize signs and symptoms of substance use, abuse, and addiction
• Discuss cultural attitudes toward substance use
• Describe issues facing birth parents with substance abuse histories
• Examine the impact of substance abuse on the family system
• Identify signs and effects of fetal alcohol syndrome and drug-exposed infants
• Discuss substance abuse prevention strategies, including protective factors
• Discuss substance abuse treatments, including types and benefits
• Describe strategies for supporting foster youth who are abusing substances
• Develop a safety plan when fostering adolescents with substance abuse histories
• Identify strategies for self-care
• Identify community resources
This course explores the impact abuse and neglect has on children’s behaviors. Participants will examine ways to reduce and eliminate troublesome youth behaviors through utilizing a strengths based approach. This course also discusses caregiver stress and stress management techniques.
• Understand typical teen brain development to explain challenging and risky behaviors
• Summarize the psychological impact resulting from abuse and/or neglect, including how children view themselves
• Recognize the variety of negative behaviors that traumatized children may engage in
• Discuss ways to ensure the safety of the child, caregiver, and their family
• Examine how the negative behavior of traumatized children can be an subconscious effort to recreate situations for which they are familiar
• Explain and understand how to use a strength-based approach with youth
• Demonstrate effective methods of containing and reshaping unwanted behaviors, increasing effective communication, fostering negotiation skills, and promoting positive interpersonal encounters
• Explain how negative behaviors impact caregivers and identify strategies to counteract these effects
This course focuses on discussions surrounding sexuality and sexual behaviors of children in care. Participants will develop an understanding of the potential emotional, psychological, and behavioral responses to sexual abuse trauma. Topics include discerning normal sexual development from problematic sexual behavior, learning prevention and intervention skills and strategies, and increasing knowledge of caregiver self-care and self-protection planning.
• Define childhood sexual abuse
• Describe potential emotional, psychological, and behavior responses to sexual abuse trauma
• Describe the cycle of abuse
• Increase awareness of normative sexual development and problematic sexual behavior
• Increase awareness of and comfort in exploring caregiver issues related to sexual development and behaviors
• Recognize the continuum and dynamics of sexualized behavior from normal sexual exploration to children exhibiting abnormal behaviors
• Explore prevention and intervention skills and strategies to manage sexualized behaviors
• Demonstrate knowledge of self-care and self-protection while working with difficult behaviors
• Recognize ways to increase communication with the treatment team for case planning, support, safety, child advocating, and treatment
• Identify text, video, internet, and community resources that provide additional information and assistance on the topic of sexualized behaviors
This course examines the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) as it applies to juvenile facilities in New Hampshire. Participants will explore the history of PREA and develop an understanding of the law, investigatory processes, and PREA juvenile standards. This course discusses investigations of sexual abuse of youth in custody. The roles of first responders, as well as recognizing and managing the effects of vicarious trauma will be discussed.
• Explore the history of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
• Recognize the role of the first responder
• Identify the expectations and limitations of being a first responder
• Recognize the juvenile PREA standards
• Identify the role of the first responder in the investigatory process
• Recognize the effect of vicarious trauma
• Examine ways to manage stress
• Explore how to actively listen as a first responder
This course examines the significant losses children in care have experienced. Participants will develop an understanding of the grieving process and learn to recognize signs of stress related to loss. This course provides caregivers with strategies to assist children address feelings of sadness, anxiety, and anger, and develop effective coping strategies. Theories of attachment, in addition to identifying stress indicators in both children and caregivers will be discussed.
• Define the potential negative effects of separation for the child, biological family, and caregiver
• Describe the theories of attachment
• Discuss the stages of grief in a child's transition to care (foster/adoptive/residential/relative)
• Identify indicators of stress in the foster child and caregiver
• Apply methods to reduce trauma of separation and placement for the child and family
• Examine techniques that will help prepare and support the foster child and contribute to successful reunification, permanency planning, or independent living
This course prepares seasoned resource parents to assist and support novice resource families within their local community. Participants will understand their role as a mentor and will learn techniques for approaching and reaching out to new resource families. The focus will be on building a positive, trusting relationship within the supportive resource parent team, and understanding the importance of birth family engagement. Problem solving and trouble-shooting situations will be explored.
• Discuss the mentor and mentee relationship and know the roles of each
• Describe strategies to open up lines of communication between mentors and mentees, and between mentees and birth families
• Recognize the importance and skills involved in building a trusting and supportive relationship with another resource parent
• Ensure mentees build trusting and supportive relationships with the birth family, in recognizing that reunification is the primary goal
This course focuses on skills and strategies caregivers can use to support positive behavior in children. Participants will examine how childhood traumatic stress affects behavior, explore appropriate behavior guidance techniques, and develop an understanding of the influence peers have on children’s behavior. The importance of role modeling positive behaviors and expectations will be discussed.
• Recognize the effects of abuse, neglect, separation, and placement on the behavior of school-age children
• Discuss behavioral guidance techniques, including good communication, consistent and fair limit setting, and role modeling, to promote a child’s self-esteem, self –control, and self-discipline
• Explain how caring for challenging children can require advanced parenting skills and techniques
• Discuss the influence of school and peers on the behaviors of school-age children
• Outline the benefits of working with the child’s immediate and extended family to provide the child with consistent plans for discipline and behavior management
• Identify how role models, such as coaches, and professionals, including teachers, therapists, and caseworkers, can impact the child
This course examines the importance of encouraging and modeling healthy nutrition for children. Participants will discuss strategies to promote healthy eating, manage food and feeding-related issues, and develop an understanding of food safety and nutritional information. Community resources will be explored, as well as opportunities to share healthy eating tips and meal ideas.
• Identify the principles of optimal nutrition for children from infancy through adolescence
• Distinguish nutrition fact from nutrition folklore
• Recognize signs and symptoms of childhood and adolescent nutritional problems including food illness, allergies, and communicate information to the caseworker, DCYF nurse, and physician
• Discuss strategies for managing food and feeding-related issues
• Identify key nutritional components on food labels
• Follow basic food safety and sanitation guidelines
• Translate the science of nutrition to life situations, as a way to meet the children’s individual nutritional needs
• Identify community resources available to assist caregivers with children’s nutritional needs
This course examines the role and importance of birth families in the lives of children in care. Participants explore the benefits to the child and caregivers in forming positive relationships with birth families. This course discusses approaches to engage family members to promote family connections, including utilizing effective communication strategies. Identifying family strengths and examining differences in culture, beliefs and values will be discussed.
• Define a strength-based approach to working with families and recognize how using this approach can benefit the child, birth family, and foster family
• Discuss avenues to identify differences in culture, values, and background in order to create a constructive relationship with birth families
• Explain the importance of the birth families to the child in care
• Describe strategies to engage family members in activities that promote family connections for life, including when parents are incarcerated
• Outline effective communication strategies to promote two-way lines of communication and avoid misunderstandings with birth families
This course focuses on potential behavioral reactions of children who have been sexually abused. Participants will develop an understanding of important concepts of child sexual development, including discerning developmentally appropriate behaviors from problematic sexual behaviors. This course discusses how caregivers can respond to sexual behaviors and provides strategies and tools to address behaviors and limit the child’s vulnerability.
• Describe key concepts in child sexual development
• Define child sexual abuse and describe a child’s potential behavioral reactions to abuse
• Recognize the differences between sexual play and problematic sexual behaviors
• Explain reasons for reacting non-judgmentally to sexual behaviors
• Develop and reinforce rules and limits that minimize the probability of inappropriate sexual behavior, reduce the child’s vulnerability to be sexually abused, reduce the resource parent’s vulnerability to be falsely accused
• Discuss how to work with various treatment professionals
This course focuses on skill building for those who are providing volunteer on-call support to foster families facing allegations of abuse and neglect. Participants learn how to describe the investigation process, improve their listening and communication skills, maintain confidentiality, convey preparation plans for meetings with Division for Children Youth and Families (DCYF) investigators, and describe measures to prevent future allegations.
• Explain NH F.I.R.S.T. and the NH DCYF special investigation process
• Apply active listening skills through use of attending behaviors
• Demonstrate how to respond to people in crisis in a supportive, nonjudgmental way
• Describe techniques to prevent false allegations including documentation
• Create an action plan and convey its importance to others
This course is designed to provide adoptive parents with information and support to help them develop self-awareness and insight into the difference between the expectations they have had regarding adoption and the realities of adoption. It provides a forum to explore family challenges and stress, and their responses. The challenges include children’s behavior, extended family, community reactions to special needs and culturally diverse adoptions, and the inevitable changes as the family adapts and grows.
• Express how original expectations of adoption may differ from the realities adoption, and how this can affect family relationships
• Identify stressors in the family and ways to manage them in order to maintain positive relationships and family balance
• Discuss different family responses to children’s challenging behavior after adoption
• Recognize the need for finding balance, flexibility, and supports for their family.
• Describe how extended family and community reaction to adoption may affect family relationships and function
• Demonstrate positive ways to respond to community perceptions of culturally diverse and special needs adoptions
This course is designed to educate residential staff on best practices and proper protocols for administering medications to children and youth in their care. The roles and responsibilities required of staff in order to be authorized by the state of NH to administer medications are discussed. Safe storage procedures, accurate documentation, and information regarding medical orders are examined. Participants explore the different categories of medications and identify effects of medications on children/youth’s body systems. Participants learn the correct protocol for administering prescription and non-prescription drugs when conditions are ideal, and how to react to situations accordingly. Reliable health resources will be identified.
• Discuss the roles and responsibilities of a residential staff member in administering medications to children/youth in their care, including documentation, safe storage, and reporting
• Define medication categories and recognize potential side effects, adverse effects, and behavior changes
• Demonstrate the ideal protocols for administrating medications to children/youth and adolescents
• Explain protocols for handling medication occurrences
• Recognize reliable resources for information on medications and health-related topics
This training provides a review of the material presented in the course, "Medications: What Residential Staff Need to Know.” Areas of review include outlining staff responsibilities, defining and categorizing medications, understanding the processes for administering medications, and what to do in the case of emergencies. Beyond the review, this course explores ethical issues that surround children/youth and medications and promotes a deeper understanding of the importance of maintaining confidentiality and personal privacy of residents.
Prerequisite: “Medications: What Residential Staff Need to Know”, "Medications: Residential Staff Review" or approved equivalent within the last 18 months
• Identify the roles and responsibilities of residential staff and those of the birth parents when administering medications to children/youth in care
• Explain the categories and effects of different types of medications
• Describe the basic procedures and considerations for administering medications
• Identify protocols for managing medication refusals, emergencies, and occurrences
• Discuss ethical issues surrounding medications, as well as the importance of maintaining confidentiality and personal privacy
This course discusses the importance of preserving and supporting meaningful connections between children and birth families. Participants will develop an increased awareness of the significance of family connections, family systems, and communication with important individuals in a child’s life. Topics include understanding family challenges that can contribute to abuse and neglect and considering families from other perspectives.
• Define family, family systems, communication, and connections, and how these concepts relate to each other
• Identify benefits for children who maintain connections with family members while in foster care or adoptive homes
• Recognize cultural effective practice and how this relates to working with birth families
• Recognize strengths and challenges of the families of children in foster care, and how to enhance strengths and address challenges
• Identify the types of individual, family, social, and environmental problems that can contribute to the abuse and neglect of children
• Identify one’s own biases regarding parents who have abused or neglected their child/children.
• Define the foster parent’s role as part of the child and family’s team and maximize the potential of this role as an integral component of the case plan
• Describe ways that the caregiver can maintain the child’s connection with their birth family or other relationships, including visitation, modeling parenting, and being a resource for knowledge and support
This course focuses on the importance of recognizing, respecting, and honoring individual differences. Participants will examine how one’s culture and identity impacts their interactions with the world, explore diversity within families, and discuss strategies to celebrate and acknowledge differences. This course provides participants an opportunity to consider how caregivers can adapt to meet the needs of various children in care.
• Identify key terms and concepts, including fallacies and misconceptions relating to diversity and culture
• Explain the relationship of white culture to one's own cultural identity
• Compare and contrast diverse families in light of structure, gender, sexual orientation, special needs, developmental issues, and others
• Explain the implications of parenting a child whose cultural and familial background may be different or in conflict with that of the caregiver
• Discuss ways to teach children and youth to acknowledge and value diversity in their community and the broader world
• Discuss avenues for celebration and acknowledgment of cultural identity, and ways to use these to develop powerful connections and healing opportunities with the child
• Explore larger cultural issues and discuss ways this influences the moves toward effective practice in working with children and families
• Discuss community resources and networking options for the continuous development of cultural effectiveness.
The Specialized Care Series expands on the FACES training completed to become licensed and takes a deeper dive in areas such as: the unique needs of adolescents, connections with birth families, parenting children exhibiting sexualized behaviors, supporting children’s success in school, and understanding the effects of fostering on foster families. Foster parents come to this Specialized Care Series with valuable lived experience and will have the opportunity to learn from one another, share their expertise, and deepen their skills as a caregiver. This course provides an overview of the five courses to follow, outlines a framework for understanding specialized care, and most importantly, offers opportunities to communicate with other foster parents who have decided to embark on this journey as well.
• Recognize the physical, cognitive, and emotional needs of children needing specialized care
• Define common terms
• Demonstrate an understanding of the components of the specialized care series.
• Discuss the complex needs and roles of children, foster parents, birth parents, and professionals
This course provides caregivers with an overview of the special education process in New Hampshire. Participants will gain knowledge of special education law, including current trends and philosophies within the field that will empower caregivers to remain active members of children’s support teams. This course also discusses opportunities to partner with birth families and provides resources to support secondary students in the transition planning process.
• Describe different categories of educational disabilities and related support services.
• Describe the purpose and development of an Individualize Education Program (IEP)
• Identify steps of special education process from referral to IEP monitoring, including NH-specific processes
• Review the purposes of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) and how it relates to the 504 Plan
• Examine roles of the birth parent, foster and/or adoptive parent, and educational surrogate in the special education process, and identify partnership opportunities
• Discuss due process rights and responsibilities
• Identify resources and supports available in the transition planning process for secondary students
This course is meant to increase caregivers’ awareness of human trafficking and discusses the signs and behaviors of children and youth victims. Topics include gaining an understanding of both sex and labor trafficking, recognizing risk factors and warning signs that a child or youth may be a victim of or at imminent risk of trafficking, and learning strategies and tools to prevent and respond to human trafficking in children and youth.
• Develop an awareness of the human trafficking of children and youth
• Recognize Public Law 113-183, Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act
• Discuss global, national and, local New Hampshire statistics on human trafficking
• Discuss the myths and facts about human trafficking
• Recognize the risk factors for children and youth in care who are victims of or at risk of human trafficking
• Recognize the warning signs that a child or youth may be at imminent risk of trafficking
• Discuss child welfare's response to human trafficking
• Discuss correlations between domestic violence and human trafficking
• Discuss and develop an understanding of child labor trafficking
• Identify the role of foster and adoptive parents, relative caregivers, and residential staff in supporting children and youth who are victims of human trafficking
• Identify strategies to help children and youth who have been victims of human trafficking
This course focuses on the symptoms of stress and the effects it has on children, families, and caregivers. A primary emphasis of this course is the emotional investment and resulting stress of being a caregiver to children in care who may have experienced one or more forms of maltreatment. Effective strategies for managing stress are presented throughout the course, including the use of support systems. Participants will gain an understanding of how to identify stressors and apply stress management techniques.
• Define sources of stress, including environmental, social, physical, psychological, and intellectual
• Describe symptoms of stress, including physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms
• Communicate the concept of creative responses to stress, including using stress as a signal to make positive changes
• Identify stress management techniques, such as communication, time management, conflict resolution, nutrition, exercise, creative activities, humor, goal setting, and visualization
• Integrate ideas into a stress management plan
• Identify books, videos, internet, and community resources for gaining support and information on stress and related topics
This course focuses on preparing caregivers to have informed conversations about sexual development and sexuality with children and youth. Topics include developing confidence and the capacity to discuss bodily changes and sexual health topics with youth, examining gender identity development, understanding adolescent developmental tasks, and considering the effects trauma may have on a youth’s ability to develop a healthy sexuality. This course provides resources and knowledge to empower caregivers to have ongoing discussions that can guide youth in understanding sexual development topics and help them make lifelong, healthy, and educated decisions.
• Discuss human sexuality during the life cycle, including puberty, human reproduction, adolescent physical changes, and both positive and negative consequences of sexual behavior
• Compare gender roles in society and the impact of the media on teens in forming ideas about sexuality
• Describe developmental tasks of adolescence and how they relate to behavior and use this knowledge to help teens plan healthy ways of reducing the risks of unplanned pregnancy and infections such as HPV, HIV and other STDs
• Adopt positive forms of communication that will enhance the ability to talk with youth in a comfortable and relatable manner
• Discuss the possible long-term consequences of sexual abuse on a teen’s ability to develop healthy sexuality
• Identify text, video, internet, and community resources for additional information on adolescent sexuality
This course discusses the concept of normalcy and how it operates within the legislative and practical application of Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standards (RPPS). The course explores how the law affects caregivers in making decisions about the everyday life of children in their care. Participants will examine and learn to apply prudent parent standards to make reasonable decisions based on a child’s age and developmental stage.
• Recognize the concept of normalcy and prudent parent standards
• Examine prudent parenting expectations in other states and New Hampshire.
• Apply prudent parenting standards to make reasonable decisions based on children's age and developmental stage
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is prevalent within the foster/adoptive community and one of the most commonly misunderstood and challenging brain-based disorders. This course provides participants with an understanding of the lifelong impacts and range of effects associated with FASD. Participants will identify common behavioral challenges and the unique strengths of individuals with FASD. With this information, participants can reframe the meaning of behaviors while modifying expectations and environments. The impact on the family and individuals living with FASD are discussed, in addition to the importance of being an advocate for an individual with FASD.
• Reflect on the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) within the foster care community
• Explain how Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term related to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND), and Neurodevelopmental Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE), and differentiate between each
• Recognize the lifelong impact of pre-natal alcohol use on individuals
• Recognize signs and symptoms of FASD across the lifespan
• Identify common behavioral challenges and strengths for individuals with FASD
• Compare and contrast co-occurring disorders associated with FASD
• Reframe the meaning of behaviors to modify expectations, actions, and environment
• Advocate on behalf of an individual with FASD
• Recognize the importance of self-care
Guiding Teens through NH Teen Responsibility and Independent Living Skills (TRAILS) provides caregivers and mentors with information on how a teen’s early developmental deficits and/or emotional disabilities can impact their ability to learn adult independent living skills during adolescence. This course explores the teenage brain and emotional development and examines how to bridge the gap between what skills teens have and those they need. Strategies to motivate youth in working through TRAILS curriculum and towards independent living are discussed.
• Describe the impact of early abuse and neglect on adolescent development
• Discuss typical brain development during adolescence
• Describe the unique challenges for youth exiting foster care
• Discuss the importance of experiential learning and provide examples
• Describe positive youth development strategies for guiding teens toward independence
• Discuss developmentally appropriate experiential activities for youth working through NH TRAILS
• Describe the unique challenges youth in care face through examining the stories of young adults
This course provides participants with strategies that can facilitate school success of children in foster care. Topics include ways caregivers can communicate and collaborate with schools, guidance on understanding the special education process in in New Hampshire, and techniques to promote positive learning and growth.
• Define the roles of foster and birth parents in the home-to-school communication process
• Recognize the advantages and challenges to working collaboratively with a child’s school(s)
• Explain the process of advocating for a child’s individual needs beginning with early intervention through post-high school
• Discuss the basics of the NH Special Education system, role of the educational surrogate, and the process of referring, identifying, and planning for children with special educational needs
• Describe ways to create a home environment that promotes and supports success in school
• Explain the benefits and challenges that extra-curricular activities have for children
This course explores what adoption is and how it differs from foster care and other permanency options. Participants will examine how adoption impacts the birth family, child, and the adoptive family. Topics include developing an understanding of the effects of trauma, grief and loss, and the role of racial and cultural diversity in adoption. Further readings and ongoing support resources are discussed.
• Recognize how the permanency goal of adoption is determined and the process by which children become legally free for adoption
• Distinguish adoption from foster care and other permanency options
• Recognize the potential impact adoption has on the birth family, the child, and other family members, and learn ways to adapt to a new family constellation
• Understand the impact of trauma caused by abuse and neglect and grief and loss on a child’s attachment, and identify realistic expectations of parenting a child in out-of-home care
• Understand the role of racial and cultural diversity in adoption
• Describe how to access support resources that an adopted child and family may need during their lifetimes
Emergency Foster Care Training provides an opportunity for foster parents to develop an understanding of what it means for care for a child in an emergency care situation. Topics include examining the roles and responsibilities of an emergency foster care provider, and understanding and exploring strategies to respond to various emotions and behaviors of an incoming foster child. Emergency foster care training offers opportunities for foster parents to consider their families and their individual roles in caring for children in short-term emergency care.
• Define emergency foster care, crisis care, and general foster care
• Explain the roles and responsibilities of an emergency foster care provider
• Discuss challenging behavioral responses of foster children, biological children, and family members
• Recognize stages and symptoms of grief and loss in the foster child and biological family
• Describe and apply a three step process to defuse anger and subsequently open communication with children in foster care
• Identify community resources that can provide assistance and additional information on emergency foster care issues
This course will review the Normalcy Standards outlined in the Strengthening Families Act of 2014. The benefits of and strategies for supporting and assessing age and developmentally appropriate activities for children and youth in care will be discussed. This course provides tools and strategies for caregivers to use when exploring opportunities and activities for the growth and enrichment of children and youth in care. This course expands on the CWEP training, How RPPS Defines Normalcy: Haircuts, School Trips, and More, and helps all caregivers operationalize normalcy as they care for children and youth in out of home placements.
• Know and understand the NH Normalcy Survey’s definition for “normalcy”, as it applies to youth in out-of-home placements (foster care, residential)
• Demonstrate a basic understanding of typical child developmental milestones
• Identify potential effects of trauma on a youth's development
• Implement strategies and tools to assess activities in a reasonable and prudent approach and build support plans to facilitate activities when appropriate
This course provides caregivers with information on how children learn and provides caregivers with guidance on how to facilitate the learning process for children in their care. Topics include exploring social and emotional learning, examining learning theories, and understanding multiple intelligences. Participants will have the opportunity to apply their skills through the development of a learning activity for children.
• Examine difference between the myth of learning styles and neuroscience based learning
• Obtain a working knowledge of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory
• Develop an understanding of social-emotional learning and its connection to academic performance
• Develop a deeper understanding of executive function and its connection to learning
• Obtain a working knowledge of Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Learning Theory and the Zone of Proximal Development
• Examine how a child’s sense of self impacts academic performance
• Acquire a working knowledge of and apply Bloom’s Taxonomy
This course discusses adolescent risk factors for drug use and prevention strategies caregivers can utilize to mitigate future risks. Topics include exploring commonly used drugs, understanding the proper storage of prescription medicines, and recognizing signs and symptoms of drug use. This course provides caregivers with information on how to address teen drug use, including treatment options and community resources.
• Discuss risk factors for drug use
• Explore how trauma and abuse can lead to drug use
• Explore ways to preventing teens from trying and using drugs
• Create an action plan for talking to children about drugs
• Recognize which drugs are most commonly used/or abused by teens
• Explore the NIDA’s National Drug Early Warning System site for emerging trends in drug use
• Identify proper storage of medications and prescription drugs
• Develop strategies for talking with children about drug use and discover what they know about drugs
• Explore where teens buy drugs
• Recognize where teens hide drugs
• Determine the pros and cons of searching teens’ rooms
• Identify the appropriate steps to take if the youth has drugs
• Explore different drug treatment options for teens
• Identify resources in the community that offer assistance for drug use
This course provides an overview of the court system and the roles and responsibilities of those involved with the process. Participants will learn the importance of documenting and communicating detailed and objective information that may be used in case plans and court reports. Topics include examining documentation types, understanding confidentiality procedures, and preparing a child for court.
• Identify cognitive, behavioral, social, physical, and emotional strengths and challenges of each child and youth in care
• Understand court processes and the roles and responsibilities of court personnel including: guardian ad litem, court appointed special advocates, prosecuting attorneys, judges, and court investigators
• Examine the legal rights, protections, and responsibilities that pertain to caregivers, children and youth in care, and primary families
• Recognize protocols including the caregiver's responsibility in court
• Assist in the preparation of testimony
• Demonstrate understanding of how to testify appropriately at court hearings
• Recognize agency’s policies regarding reporting: reporting the adjustment of the foster family and the child or youth in care; reporting emergencies; vacation planning; respite care; record keeping; training and grievance procedures
• Describe the roles and responsibilities of children or youth in care during court processes
• Objectively document pertinent information regarding children in care
• Communicate objective observations regarding children in care during assessment and planning conferences
• Understand the child or youth’s rights and how to implement agency procedures regarding confidentiality
• Explain how the family case plan guides child or youth care activities, foster family activities, and the provision of services that meet the child’s or youth’s physical, emotional, medical, and educational needs.
• Recognize how to participate in case planning and case coordination activities with service delivery team members
• Create objective reports, including information about cognitive, behavioral, social, physical, and emotional strengths and challenges for children and youth in care
This course provides a foundation for facilitating the training of adult learners. Participants will explore the dynamics of learning styles, adult learning theory, the effects of social identity on learning, effective facilitation, and management of challenging group dynamics. This course is designed for those who would like to gain skills to engage adults in the learning process and optimize learning. The personal experience of adult learners is an asset when coupled with effective training techniques. An instructor’s preparation, practice, and basic training skills can promote the transfer of learning for participants. At this time, the majority of trainings are being carried out on the online teaching platform, Moodle. Participants will understand the importance of engaging learners in online learning and will be able to identify best-practices for Moodle instruction. Trainers will learn how to assess participation, grade assignments, and engage learners on Moodle. This training is a hands-on course that requires live instruction practice over Zoom. The live Zoom session will focus on demonstrating training methods, techniques for facilitating group dialogue, and the transfer of learning. These skills and strategies will be practiced by following an existing CWEP curriculum with a co-trainer.
• Discuss the roles and responsibilities of an effective trainer
• Identify barriers to adult learning, including the impact of social identity
• Demonstrate knowledge of adult learning theories and how to apply principles
• Apply information regarding learning styles and multiple intelligences
• Examine personal unconscious bias on an ongoing basis
• Practice effective facilitation skills to engage adult learners
• Explain group dynamic theories
• Use strategies to manage challenging groups and participants
• Employ best-practices for online teaching
• Recall methods to assess participation, grade assignments, and teach interactively in Moodle
This course explores the importance of helping children and youth record their life stories. This course provides concrete ideas and strategies to help children and youth develop life stories and suggests ways caregivers can help children and youth identify, address, and resolve emotions about their past. Participants will learn how to provide a safe space for children to tell their stories, and how acknowledging a child’s past with honesty and sensitivity helps to alleviate guilt, shame, and self-blame children and youth often feel.
• Recognize challenges children and youth face in out-of-home placement as they progress developmentally, including grief and loss; anger; low self-esteem; lack of personal identity; and alienation from peers and foster/adoptive siblings
• Review the critical components of Life Stories
• Demonstrate creative strategies to engage children and youth in developing their Life Story
• Identify strategies to aid in the creation of Life Stories for children and youth when little or no personal information or memorabilia is available
• Discuss the information in Life Stories with the child or youth in an honest, supportive, and age-appropriate manner
• Recognize that Life Stories are a tool that may elicit emotional and behavioral responses, and understand the need to utilize a therapist’s support as appropriate.
• Access community, text-based, and online resources to obtain more information and support for creating Life Stories for children and youth
This course provides an examination of anger as a normal emotion, and explores how anger manifests in one’s body and behaviors. Participants will develop an understanding of how the brain processes emotions, identify signs and symptoms of anger, and make proactive choices to manage and mitigate conflicts. This course introduces strategies to resolve conflicts and techniques adults can use to model healthy emotional management.
• Define anger as a normal emotion and recognize its triggers, including loss, unfulfilled expectations, disrespect, and distorted beliefs
• Identify ways in which anger may be expressed in either positive or negative ways
• Comprehend the importance of caregivers modeling appropriate, positive behavior for children when feeling angry.
• Demonstrate strategies, such as attending to feelings, respecting assertive communication, engaging in active problem solving, reducing stress, taking a time out, and alternative physical activities that children and youth can be taught to deal with angry feelings in positive ways
• Define conflict as a normal part of human relationships and understand conflict can be dealt with in either constructive or destructive ways that have an impact on relationships
• Demonstrate techniques, such as conflict resolution, mediation, and family meetings that can be used to resolve conflict in a constructive manner that enhance relationships
• Identify community, text, video, and internet-based resources for additional information on conflict and anger management
This course explores sibling dynamics and provides caregivers and residential staff with skills and strategies to achieve strong family bonds. Various topics will be discussed, including birth order, sibling rivalry, and siblings with special needs, adolescent transitions, and family roles. The impact foster, relative care placement, and adoption has on family relationships will be examined, as well as strategies for maintaining sibling connections.
• Define "siblings" to include many different family configurations
• Explore how one's own sibling relationships affect one's parenting
• Recognize the dynamics of sibling rivalry and other sibling interactions
• Recognize the role of birth order has in families
• Discuss the impact of foster care on siblings
• Recognize the dynamics of sibling rivalry and other sibling interactions
• Demonstrate skills that enhance the parenting of siblings
• Recognize how sibling relationships are impacted by shared trauma
• Discuss strategies for fostering sibling groups
• Identify strategies for maintaining sibling connections when sibling groups cannot stay together
• Discuss supports foster/adoptive/relative caregivers need in order to support sibling connections
• Discuss New England's Siblings Bill of Rights and how it relates to children in out-of-home placements
This course provides an overview of a variety of childhood infectious diseases and alerts caregivers to situations that have the potential for disease transmission. The course clarifies how infections occur, how they are passed from one person to another, universal precautions, immunizations, and other ways of protecting children and their caregivers from illness. This course will guide caregivers in the prevention and prompt treatment of illnesses.
• Recognize issues of basic hygiene and their relationship to the infectious process
• Discuss facts about viruses and bacteria, and how to prevent disease transmission
• Explore the environment of children and find interventions to deter infection
• Identify common childhood diseases
• Demonstrate ways to detect infection in its earliest possible phase
• Describe the process of childhood infection and know when to access medical care
• Discover text-based, online, and community resources for additional information and assistance
This course focuses on development of children in the middle childhood range, ages 6-12. Topics include an understanding of various developmental domains, discussion of typical and expected behaviors, and gaining insights into the impact trauma has on the developing child. This course provides information and considerations for caregivers and other influential individuals to promote healthy development in children.
● Understand developmental domains (i.e., cognitive, social, physical, emotional) and the associated milestones and expected behaviors at various stages
● Differentiate between typical behaviors and those that may be cause for concern in middle childhood.
● Describe the stages of sexual development through childhood
● Identify the spectrum of gender identity in childhood
● Examine childhood mental health including identifying warning signs and supporting healthy mental health development
● Explain the consequences of experiencing trauma, its impact on development, and explore strategies to foster resilience in children
● Explore the impact culture has on the family unit and why discussions around diversity are important
● Discuss specific strategies and techniques to guide positive behavior when challenging behaviors arise
● Explain the importance of working with the biological family, when appropriate, and creating lifelong connections for children
This course focuses on early development of children, ages infant-preschooler. Topics include developing an understanding of various developmental domains, examining temperament traits and their influence on behavior, and discussing the effects of early trauma on the developing child. Participants explore different parenting styles and strategies for guiding positive behavior.
• Understand developmental domains (i.e., cognitive, language, creative, social, physical, emotional) and the associated milestones and expected behaviors at various stages
• Differentiate between typical behaviors and those that may be cause for concern in early childhood
• Examine differences in temperament traits and the influence temperament has on behavior
• Explain the consequences of experiencing early trauma and the impact on development and behavior
• Explore the impact culture has on the family unit and why discussions around diversity are important
• Develop a personal parenting philosophy,
• Understand your parenting style and strategies to utilize when confronting common early childhood challenges
• Discuss specific strategies and techniques to guide positive behavior when challenging behaviors arise
• “Explain the importance of working with the biological family, when appropriate, and creating lifelong connections for children
• Discuss the importance of and resources for ongoing support for sustaining positive parenting techniques.
This course examines domestic violence and its impact on children, families, and communities. Topics include understanding and recognizing signs of traumatic bonding in children and families. Strategies for working with families and children with domestic violence histories are also explored.
• Define domestic violence in terms of family dynamics, roles, and relationships
• Describe the theory of traumatic bonding and Stockholm Syndrome
• Describe the impact of domestic violence on children, families, and communities
• Identify indicators of traumatic bonding in the child and family
• Implement strategies for preventing and responding to domestic violence
This course discusses various forms of child maltreatment and examines how abuse and neglect impacts children, families, and communities. Topics include exploring the psychological, developmental, and behavioral impacts of abuse, as well as understanding potential risk factors and family dynamics that may contribute to child abuse and neglect.
• Define child physical abuse, child sexual abuse, and child neglect
• Explain NH laws regarding reporting suspected child abuse and/or neglect, and the basic investigative process.
• Identify physical, emotional and behavioral indicators of children who have been abused and/or neglected
• Recognize the psychological, developmental, and behavioral impact of abuse on children, family, and community
• Describe the possible family and cultural dynamics where abuse/neglect is present
• Discuss and implement methods for setting up a safe environment
This course will provide information about emotional and behavioral disorders, and will offer a range of practical strategies and recommendations for managing the behavioral and emotional needs of children and youth with these disorders. Topics include identifying characteristics of mental health and neurological disorders that may be observed in children and youth in care, understanding the unique challenges adolescents face, and recognizing local supports available to support children and youth dealing with emotional and behavioral disorders.
• Identify the characteristics of mood disorders, including Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder in children
• Identify the characteristics of Psychosis and Schizophrenia in children
• Identify the characteristics of behavioral disorders in children
• Describe the unique mental health challenges that adolescents face
• Identify the characteristics of Conduct Disorder
• Identify the types of therapy available to treat emotional and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents
• Identify supports in the local community for children and caregivers dealing with emotional and behavioral disorders
• Demonstrate appropriate techniques and strategies for communicating with children and adolescents with emotional and/or behavioral disorders
• Use an appropriate set of skills or techniques to de-escalate a child or adolescent with emotional and/or behavioral disorder(s)
• Identify situations to use one or more of discussed techniques
• Recognize signs of compassion fatigue and secondary trauma, and identify healthy coping strategies for caregivers
This course explores the legal and case-specific aspects of NH’s child welfare system, including the DCYF practice model, Solution-Based Casework (SBC). With this background, participants will develop strategies to successfully advocate for children in out-of-home placement, using community resources and connections. The course will explore risk and protective factors for children in placement. Participants will learn positive communication skills, both written and verbal, and strategies for building professional relationships. During the course, participants will develop tools to advocate successfully for children in placement.
• Describe NH’s practice model, Solution-Based Casework.
• Differentiate between assertive and aggressive communication styles.
• Define and describe advocacy.
• Demonstrate an understanding of the role and responsibility of a caregiver.
• Describe risk and protective factors for children in out-of-home care.
• Identify opportunities to advocate for children in care.
• Discuss effective advocacy strategies.
• Discuss the importance of advocating with and for birth families.
• Support self-advocacy skills in children and youth in care.
• Identify strategies for partnering with birth families to increase protective factors.
This course discusses the safe and effective use of psychotropic medications for children and youth in NH DCYF custody or guardianship. Topics include understanding psychotropic medications, their uses, and alternative treatment options. This course will discuss the process of informed consent and birth parents’ legal rights. Participants will develop an understanding of different classes of psychotropic medications, their side effects, as well as guidelines for administering and monitoring their use.
• Explore psychotropic medications and develop an understanding of why they are prescribed.
• Explore how trauma can play a role in children and adolescents’ behavior and how to best support a child with a trauma background.
• Discuss other treatment options that can be used prior to the use of psychotropic medications and/or along with their use.
• Describe what informed consent is and identify members who should be part of the treatment team.
• Develop an understanding of key topics to discuss with the prescribing doctor about psychotropic medications.
• Understand the importance of talking with children and adolescents in care about psychotropic medications.
• Define the Psychotropic Medication Utilization Parameters for Children in Foster Care
• Describe how to monitor a child for possible side effects or to see if the psychotropic medication is effective.
• Explain what to do regarding concerns with psychotropic medications prescribed to children in your care.
This course provides an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Topics include understanding the symptoms, prevalence, potential causes, and treatment options for children and youth with ASD. This course aims to provide caregivers with practical guidance in caring for children and youth diagnosed with ASD. Participants will gain knowledge of how ASD influences the brain and learn strategies that can benefit children and youth with ASD.
This course provides an overview of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), including information on how ADHD is diagnosed and how ADHD impacts children and adolescents. Topics include examining the influence ADHD has on the brain and how this effects behaviors and symptoms. This course discusses common challenges faced by children and adolescents with ADHD, as well as the benefits. Participants will learn various strategies and organizational supports to aid children and adolescents with ADHD.
• Describe the diagnostic criteria used by physicians to diagnose ADHD.
• Distinguish between typical child and adolescent behavior ranges and those exhibited by children and adolescents with ADHD.
• Identify the parts of the brain affected by ADHD.
• Explain how these brain differences contribute to the behaviors and symptoms associated with ADHD.
• Identify some of the most common daily life challenges faced by children and adolescents with ADHD in a variety of settings.
• Identify some of the most common behavioral challenges faced by children and adolescents with ADHD in a variety of settings.
• Describe some of the strengths that children and adolescents with ADHD have, relative to children and adolescents that do not have ADHD.
• Identify effective behavioral and organizational supports for children and adolescents with ADHD.
• Create a plan for time management, physical organization, or a desired behavior.
• Explain how the most commonly prescribed prescription medications for the treatment of ADHD work to promote focus and attention in children and adolescents with ADHD.
This course provides an opportunity for learners to explore issues related to caring for youth who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or are questioning their sexual orientation (LGBTQ). There are more ways to identify than just LGBTQ. Participants will learn more about some of these identities in the vocabulary section. These identities are often evolving, expanding, and becoming more inclusive of all individuals. For the purpose of this class, the material presented will use the acronym LGBTQ, but the youth in your care may have varying identities.
• Explain the impact that foster/adoptive care placement has on LGBTQ youth.
• Explain the safety and risk factors affecting LGBTQ youth in foster/adoptive care and how to contribute to protective factors.
• Articulate one's own personal, religious, cultural views, and values regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.
• Understand accurate information regarding LGBTQ people and be able to explain common myths and stereotypes.
• Use accurate and culturally appropriate terminology with regard to LGBTQ individuals.
• Describe ways to establish appropriate rules and boundaries to allow for developmentally appropriate relationships and safety within the home.
• Understand how to support and affirm a youth's "coming out" process.
• Identify further opportunities to increase awareness, learning, and growth to build one’s competence in caring for LGBTQ youth.
This course discusses caregivers’ roles and responsibilities in proper administration and monitoring of medications. Topics include understanding various types of medications and their effects and discussing basic principles and rights of medication administration. Caregivers will learn to locate reliable health-related resources and build readiness to address challenges as they arise.
• Discuss the roles and responsibilities of foster parents administering medications to children in their care, including documentation and reporting.
• Describe the ethical issues involved in medication administration, including the rights of recipients, confidentiality, and values.
• Define categories of medications and understand possible side effects, adverse effects, and behavior changes.
• Demonstrate ideal protocols for administrating medications to children/youth and adolescents.
• Distinguish alternative protocols for administering medications when appropriate.
• Recognize reliable resources for information on medications and healthcare-related topics.
The Effects of Childhood Trauma
- Identify the types of trauma that affect children in care.
- Summarize what children experience as a result of childhood trauma and behaviors that stem from trauma
- Review how the child’s traumatic history can have an effect on the Foster family.
- Discuss how children’s behavior may be determined by traumatic experiences.
- Explore strategies to support children who have experienced trauma.
- Review how vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue impact the foster family.
- Recognize the characteristics and effects of sexual abuse and how it impacts children in care.
Basic Medications Overview for Future Caregivers
This course provides prospective foster and adoptive parents with a basic overview of administering and monitoring children’s medications. Topics include developing an understanding of safe storage and disposal of medications, examining how to safely administer medications, and identifying and responding to side effects and/or adverse reactions. Important resources and contacts will be provided.
- Articulate “5 rights” of medication administration
- Identify the main components of a medication label
- Describe how to safely administer medications to youth/children
- Explain how to safely store and dispose of medications
- Describe and respond to specific severe medical issues
- Explain the difference between a side effect and an allergic reaction
This course introduces prospective foster and adoptive parents to the importance of maintaining and sustaining important relationships in the lives of children in care. Topics include exploring the role caregivers have in encouraging family time and promoting meaningful connections, as well as integrating a child’s culture, history, and traditions into the home.
- Recognize the benefits to children’s identity development derived from lifelong connections with family members and other significant people in their lives
- Assess individual opinions, notions, and biases surrounding families of children in care
- Define the foster/adoptive parent’s role in supporting family time and other means of maintaining and sustaining important relationships
- Examine how multiple loyalties manifest themselves in the daily lives of children
- Identify the child’s history, culture, and traditions, and examine how to integrate these into the home
- Explore ways resource families can strengthen relationships with the important people in the child’s life
Promoting Positive Behavior
This course introduces prospective foster and adoptive parents to strategies for managing various behaviors. Topics include examining different parenting styles, exploring positive discipline techniques, and understanding reasons children misbehave. Participants will gain knowledge of productive approaches that encourage positive behavior in children.
- Explain the difference between discipline and punishment
- Identify one’s parenting style and the influence parenting styles have on children
- Recognize unique parenting challenges that may arise with children in care
- Discuss strategies to manage various behavior challenges
- Recognize where behaviors may stem from
Experiencing Grief and Loss
This course provides prospective foster and adoptive parents with an overview of the loss and grief children in care experience, and provides caregivers with strategies to support children. Topics include understanding the various ways grief and loss is expressed and how it affects behavior. Participants will identify the different stages of grief, and explore techniques that ease transitions and facilitate healthy attachments in children.
- Recognize how personal grief and loss affect behavior
- Identify why children and their parents need genuine empathy and understanding as they grapple with their individual grief and loss
- Describe stages of grief and loss and the impact each stage has on children in care and their families
- Explain how the process of transition impacts children and families
- Explore techniques to support the child's family with transitions
- Describe attachment issues and a variety of potential attachment-related behaviors
- Identify strategies to facilitate healthy attachments in children
The Developing Child
This course provides prospective foster and adoptive parents with a basic overview of child development from early childhood through adolescence, and introduces strategies to support growth and development of children and youth. Participants will explore brain architecture and the impact trauma has on the developing child. This course discusses the ways in which caregivers can make a positive difference and promote the healthy development of children in their care.
• Discuss the various stages of healthy development from early childhood through adolescence, and build an understanding of different developmental domains (physical, social, cognitive, and emotional)
• Recognize the difference between chronological and developmental age
• Explain the importance of building trust and creating a nurturing environment during early child development
• Develop strategies to enhance growth and development that benefit children and their families
• Discuss healthy sexual development in children and understand associated terminology
• Identify common childhood mental health disorders and conditions and understand how children who have experienced trauma, loss, and separation may present with similar symptoms
• Identify the sensory needs of children who are seeking or avoiding stimuli
• Understand educational challenges for youth in care and the importance of partnering with schools for academic success
• Advocate for children in your care by having an awareness of resources and understanding the importance of support networks
This course provides prospective foster and adoptive parents with an understanding of requirements needed to become and remain licensed as a foster/adoptive parent in the State of New Hampshire. This course describes the process and steps need for initial licensure and re-licensure, as well as provides information regarding trainings and resources available throughout the state. Suggestions for welcoming children into the home are also discussed.
• Identify foster family care licensing requirements
• Examine the regulations required to maintain a foster care license
• Build awareness of resources and training available to caregivers throughout the state
• Discuss required paperwork needed for the licensing process
• Review necessary steps for foster parent licensing and re-licensing
Attachment: A Child's Ability to Connect
This course explores the importance of bonding and attachment for children and their development. Topics include examining attachment theory, recognizing how trauma affects children’s attachment and relationships, and understanding and addressing attachment issues and attachment disorder in children. Participants will learn strategies to foster trusting and secure relationships with children.
- Define bonding as the basic link of trust between infant and caregiver.
- Define attachment as the deep and lasting connection developed between a child and caregiver in the early years.
- Recognize that the pattern of an infant’s early attachment to caregivers forms the basis for later social relationships.
- Apply the theory to a case study.
- Describe several symptoms of attachment issues.
- Apply symptoms to case examples.
- Recognize that an Attachment Disorder is a condition where children have difficulty forming loving, lasting relationships. Also, attachment disorders vary in severity.
- Apply concepts to the discussion.
- Recognize how trauma affects early brain development and attachment.
- Identify four specific ways a child attaches.
- Identify three emotional needs of a child with attachment issues.
- Describe several parenting strategies specific to a child with issues of attachment.
- Discuss additional text, internet, community, and video resources.