Below is a sampling of Coalition workshops topics offered as part of our Education Support Series. These workshops have proved effective and engaging for parents and professionals and have been presented to community groups, at statewide meetings and national conferences.
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- Coalition 101 – An overview of the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York and of foster care, kinship care and adoption in New York. For parents and staff. Can be adapted as needed.
- Prudent Parenting: What You Need to Know – Developed in 2016 to address the requirement that all foster parents in the State of New York receive training about the Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standard in order to held harmless from liability for decisions made under this 2014 Federal legislation. Designed for foster parents. Can be adapted for staff.
- Family Court 101 – In response to the number of calls received by the Coalition’s HelpLine from foster parents and relative caregivers seeking to understand the legal process related to the children in their care, the Coalition has developed this 90 minute overview of the abuse and neglect process that brings children into care. Participants will walk through the “Child’s Journey” in the court system. Terminology will be discussed and the law as it relates to foster parent and relative rights and access to court procedures will be outlined.
- Common Sense Permanency Planning – Explores the impact of Federal and New York State legislation on permanency planning practice; the challenge to think differently about relationships; and using the power of common sense to understand and effect needed changes which respond to the demands of legislative mandates and support children through their journey to permanency.
- Shared Parenting: Foster Parents Speak – A discussion of foster parenting today based on shared parenting with birth families and professionals. Features AFFCNY’s award winning video of foster parents speaking candidly about the challenges and rewards in developing partnerships with birth families to benefit children in their care.
- Taking Your Place at the Table – While the law provides today’s foster parents with opportunities to assume new roles in the permanency planning process, foster parents themselves must accept responsibility for understanding and exercising them. In other words, they must be prepared to “Take Their Place at the Table.” The workshop will discuss how trends in law and practice are changing foster parent roles and responsibilities, and encourage participants to develop a new ways of thinking about, understanding, and using the language of law to enhance their effectiveness.
- Locating Helping Resources and Becoming A Service Detective – Foster/Adoptive parents can help themselves and each other to uncover available services and information resources that might be sitting right in their own backyard. Includes a discussion of adoption subsidy issues, using the Internet, understanding public and non-profit service systems, and how to ask for help effectively.
- Struggle for Identity: Issues in Transracial Foster Care and Adoption – Led by a former forster and current adoptive parent of a transracial adopttee, this workshop features a discussion of issues of family, school, community, and anti-racist advocacy and offers practical, supportive suggestions. Attendees will also hear from transracial adoptees (the experts) in a special video produced for foster and adoptive parents and professionals.
- I’m Talking, Why Can’t You Hear Me? – Advocacy is a must learn skill for parents caring for children frequently enmeshed in multiple systems of care. Based on the understanding that anything we accomplish happens because of communication, this workshop examines the basics of common sense communication, and techniques and strategies adoptive/foster parents can use to advocate effectively with agency professionals and service providers.
- A Little Help from My Friends – The needs and realities of today’s families have changed, and parent groups have to keep pace. Designed for agencies or parents interested in developing new parent support groups/associations or increasing existing group membership and participation. Practical ideas for jump-starting or rejuvenating your parent group and re-energizing members.
- Becoming an Adoption Advocate – Adoption advocacy is essential in order to support and affirm our families and the self-worth of our children! A look at what forms the advocacy can take, and what’s involved when we take the plunge, including adoption and the schools and community, positive adoption language, and legislative advocacy.
- Educating Others about About Adoption and Foster Care – Foster and Adoptive families caring for children with complicated family histories and health care needs are often required to work with helping professionals outside the child welfare system who may not be aware of adoption/foster care issues affecting the children and families they serve, and/or the effectiveness of the interventions they propose. This workshop is designed to provide foster/adoptive parents with tools, techniques and encouragement to assume an active role in educating others about the realities of foster care and adoption.