Foster Care and Adoption

Catholic Charities foster care program helps qualified individuals and couples become licensed foster parents. Our case managers facilitate the initial training and continue to provide ongoing training, resources and support. We recruit and support foster parents, therapeutic foster parents, kinship foster parents and unaccompanied minor foster parents.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Foster Parent College Prepares Students to Provide a Loving Home

Written by Mary Bordes

When people think of college, images of dorms, dining halls and early morning lectures often come to mind. Catholic Charities’ Foster Care & Adoption program, however, offers a type of coursework one won’t find at a typical university.

Helping Individuals and Couples Become Foster Parents

The program’s Foster Parent College (FPC) provides a blend of online and classroom courses that individuals or couples must complete to become licensed foster parents. The training is presented in five 3-hour sessions.

FPC covers topics parents need to know to keep their foster children safe, help them deal with trauma, and maintain healthy relationships with biological families. A Facilitator monitors each student’s progress and provides support throughout.

Supporting Kinship Foster Parents

Although graduation from FPC usually requires 15 hours of training, there are some exceptions. For families who live in rural areas, there may be fewer classes that last longer.

For Sharon, a parent currently enrolled in the college. She had already been a kinship and fictive kinship foster parent for over 40 years. Fictive kinship means a foster parent cares for a child who isn’t a relative, but has a long-standing relationship with that child.

“My very first foster experience began just days after my husband and I returned from our honeymoon. My two younger brothers, Howard and Duane, just showed up on our doorstep one afternoon. Both boys were with us until they aged out of the system at 18,” said Sharon.

Providing Flexibility for Busy Lives

Currently, licensing worker and FPC Facilitator Mary Bordes has three students. She understands that for those who already have kinship placements, attending classes, working and caring for their children at the same time can be challenging.

Savana, an FPC student who was already caring for her niece, struggled to keep up with her online classes. When Savana was at risk of not being able to complete her training and graduate, Mary and the other students rescheduled the next in-classroom session so that Savana could catch up. Thanks to this act of compassion, she was able to graduate on time.

Fostering Spans Generations

Not surprisingly, some FPC students grew up with foster siblings of their own. Jessica, who is currently enrolled, has a father and stepmother whom are foster parents. She has been blessed with loving foster sisters.

“My parents have done an amazing job of providing a ‘normalized experience’ for them, principally focusing on making sure we all did everything together. Their foster placements have come from various cultures, so we’ve all learned a lot along the way about their customs," Jessica said.

If you’re interested in opening your heart and becoming a licensed foster parent, learn more about Catholic Charities’ Foster Care & Adoption program or view our online calendar to register for an information session.

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