Foundation Courses

During the initial two year licensing period, foster and adoptive parents must complete the ten-module Foundation curriculum. This curriculum explores the key aspects of foster parenting, focusing on both knowledge and skills building.

Overview of the Children’s Court System (3 Hrs.)

The child welfare legal system can be overwhelming for foster and adoptive parents. Learn the basics of how the system works, key terms and players, and tips for participating in court. (Milwaukee County licensed only)

Module #1: Partners in Permanency (3 Hrs.)

This workshop introduces the parent or caregiver to the primary goals of child protective services and how these services can help achieve protection and permanence for children and their families. The parent or caregiver is introduced into their role as a member of the team and how collaboration with caseworkers, the child protection agency, and other professionals is imperative to serving the child, birth family, and foster parent. The importance of advocacy for the child is also emphasized as the best interest of the child needs to be implemented during case planning, with old schools and other service agencies / providers.

Module #2: Cultural Dynamics in Placement (3 Hrs.)

This workshop presents an overview of culture and the ways in which our values and codes of conduct are impacted by culture. Participants learn to separate culture from race and learn to identify the many and complex ingredients of cultural identity. Caregivers will also learn methods to more successfully parent a child from a culture different than their own.

Module #3: Maintaining Family Connectedness (3 Hrs.)

This workshop provides information about the losses experienced by birth families, expected behaviors of grieving birth parents, and ways to work effectively with birth families along a continuum of contacts. Parents and/or caregivers also learn how to identify key members of the child’s birth family and the significance of sibling connections.

Module #4a: Dynamics of Abuse and Neglect Part 1 (3 Hrs.)

This workshop familiarizes the parent / caregiver with the dynamics of physical and sexual abuse, emotional maltreatment and neglect as well as the physical behavioral indicators in children. Parents / caregivers also become familiar with the types of family situations that can contribute to abuse and neglect. Laws regarding mandatory reporting of suspected abuse and neglect are also examined.

Module #4b: Dynamics of Abuse and Neglect Part 2 (3 Hrs.)

Prerequisite: Dynamics of Abuse and Neglect: Contributing Factors This workshop familiarizes the parent / caregiver with the dynamics of physical and sexual abuse, emotional maltreatment, and neglect as well as the physical behavioral indicators in children. Parents / caregivers also become familiar with the types of family situations that can contribute to abuse and neglect. Laws regarding mandatory reporting of abuse and neglect are also examined.

Module #5: Impact of Maltreatment on Child Development (3 Hrs.)

This workshop examines the dynamics of child maltreatment. The workshop will explore underlying reasons a parent or caregiver might abuse or neglect children. The session gives participants an overview of normal child development and examines the impact of abuse and neglect on child development.

Module #6: Attachment (3 Hrs.)

This workshop demonstrates normal, healthy attachment and how it influences child development. Parents and caregivers are introduced to how attachment is the foundation for guidance and positive discipline, and how it is impacted by separation from primary parents, siblings, and other attachment figures. Participants also learn to identify stages in the grieving process as well as strategies to reduce the trauma to children who have experienced separations from significant others.

Module #7: Separation and Placement (3 Hrs.)

This workshop examines the effects of separation on the child within their cultural context. Participants also learn to identify stages in the grieving process as well as strategies to reduce the trauma to children who have experienced separations from significant others. In addition, the workshop also examines issues related to emotional conflict and the impact of multiple placements on the child.

Module #8: Guidance and Positive Discipline (3 Hrs.)

This workshop examines the reasons for behavioral problems among foster and adopted children. The workshop also explains the agency policy regarding corporal punishment and the underlying reasons for that policy. Finally, participants receive information on positive ways to manage behavior including natural and logical consequences, contracting, and rewarding.

Module #9: Effects of Fostering on the Family (3 Hrs.)

This workshop examines the impact of foster care, adoption, and kinship care on the family system. Information is presented on disclosure of important information to foster and adoptive parents and protocol for handling challenges specific to foster care. The workshop enables prospective parents to develop effective coping strategies and survival plans.