Many times when someone considers fostering one of the many thoughts that goes through their mind is, “but we’re so unqualified.” People realize that fostering is different than parenting biological children, but they’re not sure exactly what’s different or don’t realize just how different it can be. These questions and lack of knowledge of the process and protocol can be overwhelming and can even drive some families away.
If this is you, you’re not alone. I don’t know of anyone that said they immediately felt qualified to foster the minute they answered “yes” to God’s call to foster. That’s the thing about God’s call — He doesn’t always call those that are qualified, He calls those who are willing.
The Department of Children and Family Services doesn’t just come look at your house and then drop a bunch of kids off to families without some kind of training. That’s where PRIDE comes in. PRIDE is the required training for prospective foster/adoptive families. PRIDE stands for Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education.
The purpose of this training is to give you an idea about what fostering is going to be like. PRIDE is 27-hours of training that is done through The CALL over the course of two weekends. For those that choose to go through DHS, the classes are held once a week for 10 weeks.
PRIDE training does these things:
- Teaches about the world of foster care and adoption
- Helps teach the terms, process, and the web of families will be involved with while fostering.
- Gives the list of skills needed for foster/adoptive families and teaches that fostering/adopting is about teamwork.
- Helps families understand that the goal in the beginning is reunification with the biological family and that families need to be able to work towards that goal.
- Instruct families on how to meet the developmental needs regarding attachment, loss, and other special circumstances with foster children.
- Help teach families how to strengthen family relationships between their foster children and their biological families.
- Give guidance on discipline techniques that foster parents are allowed to use with foster children.
- Prepare and teach families about the transition period and changes that will occur if/when a foster child is returned to the biological family or termination of parental rights occurs.
- Give foster/adoptive families an insight on sexual abuse and how to create a healing home environment for children who have been abused.
PRIDE goes into a lot of detail and most families feel like they are more prepared once they go through training. The catch is though, that just like birthing classes before having a baby — you can train all day long, but once that baby or teen shows up at your house you’ll find that it’s different. Training can only give you an idea and give you good outlines and a feeling of preparedness, but reality is the best teacher. There are tons of resources that are shared at PRIDE that can also help navigate the way.
To sign up to participate in PRIDE, a family must first attend an informational meeting and fill out the background check paperwork. Once that is complete you will be able to sign up for PRIDE training.
PRIDE training is given in White County four times a year. Check out our calendar page or Facebook page to see when the next informational meeting and PRIDE training is scheduled.
If you are interested in finding out how to become a PRIDE trainer, contact us on our Facebook page or call County Coordinator Leigh Ann Johnston at 501-259-8845.