• Elle

Foster Friday: PRIDE Classes

Learn all about step three of becoming foster parents- PRIDE Classes.

Hey, y'all! Welcome to Foster Friday, where I share with you our experiences in Fostering. We're still in the preliminary stages of becoming foster parents. So far, we've had our initial interview and our initial home visit. We also have begun taking our PRIDE classes.

Foster Parents, in the state of Florida, are required to take classes prior to getting their license. Each parent in the home is required attend the free classes. PRIDE (Parents Resources for Information for Development and Education) is a six-week course that provides future foster parents with information that they'll need in order to be successful foster parents. We were able to choose between taking 2 classes on weeknights or attending class from 9-4 on Saturdays. We went with the latter option.

We are officially half way through our coursework. Throughout the class, we've had several guest speakers teach us about some of the aspects of foster parenting. We've learned all about the removal process, the resources available to foster parents (including therapists, doctors, Medicaid, behavioral help, etc), and we've talked about daycare and early education. We've learned about all of the wonderful programs available to teens, it's really cool to see all of the resources they have available to them.

One of the saddest parts of the program has been discussing the type of trauma that many of these children may have experienced. It's been truly eye-opening. We've covered topics such as abuse, neglect, sex trafficking, drug addiction, and unexpected death. It's so scary to think of some of the things the children may have seen or endured.

We've also discussed the effects that these experiences may have on a child. The removal process alone can be extremely traumatic. If you pair that with the situations the child may have encountered, these events could be quite detrimental. They can cause developmental delays as well as cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Our trainer has given us several keys to becoming foster parenting. These include:

1. The main objective of foster parenting is reunification. 2. It is important to create permanence or a connection to their past. 3. Bio-parents are typically given a year to work through a list of court-ordered steps they must take in order to get their child back. 4. There are concurrent plans in place while the bio-parent is working towards regaining custody. One plan is to reunify them with their child. The other plan is to have the child placed in permanent custody with a qualified caregiver. 5. You are never alone. Foster parents have a professional team that is made up of their caseworker, their CMO (Case Management Organization), therapist, doctors, etc).

One of the most important aspects of foster classes is networking. The classes give you an opportunity to connect with people who will be experiencing situations similar to yours. Sure, you may think your family members and your friends will be able to relate to your situations, but really unless they've been a foster parent, they won't have any idea what you're about to be dealing with. However, other foster families will totally be able to relate with you.

We found one future foster family who lives about 3 miles from where we currently live. This will be a great connection for future play dates!

So far, the classes have been very informative. We've also begun the preliminary steps of preparing for our licensing and prepping our home for a foster child. I'll go more into both of those steps in the upcoming weeks of Foster Friday. Give me a like on Facebook or follow me on Twitter to see our journey. See you next time!

#fostercare #fosterfriday #fosterparent