Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuition help available for women 35 years of age and older

The Jeannette Rankin Foundation provides opportunities for women ages 35 and older to receive financial assistance in attending college through its Women's Scholarship Fund.

Since 1978, the fund has awarded scholarships to help more than 500 women.

Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • A woman, age 35 or older
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Enrolled in, or accepted to, a regionally or ACIS accredited school
  • Pursuing a technical or vocational education, an associate's degree or a first bachelor's degree
  • Low income (guidelines are included on the website)

Deadline for applying is March 1, 2012.

Visit the Jeannette Rankin Foundation's website for more information on other criteria and to download an application.

Monday, January 30, 2012

NACAC to host webinars on adoption assistance

The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) will host two free webinars on adoption assistance on January 31 and February 7. See details below:

Adoption Assistance Benefits and Eligibility
January 31, 2012
2:30 p.m. CST

Josh Kroll will present information about adoption assistance benefits, including which children are eligible and the benefits available. The session will be of use to prospective adopters as well as parents who are seeking to make a change in the child's benefits due to changes in the child's needs or family's circumstances.

Register here for Adoption Assistance Benefits and Eligibility.

Adoption Assistance Advocacy
February 7, 2012
2:30 p.m. CST

With state and provincial budgets continuing to be tight, adoptive parents, adoption professionals, and other child advocates will need to be vigilant in case legislators seek to balance budgets by reducing adoption assistance benefits. In this session, Adoption Subsidy Resource Center project coordinator Josh Kroll will explore advocacy strategies to maintain and enhance adoption subsidy programs.

Register here for Adoption Assistance Advocacy.

Source: NACAC

Friday, January 27, 2012

Develop a routine for the first night of placement

The beauty of being a foster parent is the stability that we provide children in care, who may not otherwise get stability -- or a stable routine -- in their biological homes.

We all know the excitement and eagerness that accompanies a new placement. We also know the anxiety of wondering how the first few nights will play out. Why not start a routine that will transcend most placements, especially for children ages 5 to 8?

Tuck Me In Cards provide a great "intro" for the bedtime routine. With cards such as "I'll Tell You A Story About When I Was Little" and "If You Could Go Anywhere In the World, Where Would You Go and How Would You Get There," it allows foster parents to "break the ice" in the those first few days.

Taffy Gallagher's company, Five Threads, created Tuck Me In Cards to help caregivers get to know a child while developing their critical thinking skills. There are no wrong answers to the connecting questions and each one is intentionally phrased to enhance the relationship with the child so you as a foster parent can appreciate the child's interest, thoughts and feelings.

Although the cards are geared for children ages 3 to 7, the concept might be better understood for ages 5 to 8 if your child in care is delayed developmentally.

Tuck Me In Cards could make great gifts for foster parents, either from foster parent organizations as giveaways or from placement agencies as part of their parenting resources available to caregivers.

Visit www.fivethreads.com or contact Taffy Gallagher at 360.434.5647 or taffy@fivethreads.com for more information.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NFPA seeks leader for communications subcommittee

The National Foster Parent Association is increasing its efforts to reach out to members, supporters and the public through its communications subcommittee. With a unique focus on promoting awareness of the National Foster Parent Association and foster care in general, the chair of the communications subcommittee will:

  • Assist in managing social media tools, including blog, parent forum, Facebook and Twitter
  • Assist in developing articles of interest for the National Advocate, NFPA News and Fostering Families Today
  • Develop press releases for major NFPA events
  • Assist public policy committee with talking points for NFPA members in regards to legislation
  • Pitch advocacy efforts to media outlets locally, regionally and nationally
  • Coordinate positive public relations materials for and about foster parents

This subcommittee will work with the member services committee to accomplish these goals and more.

Contact NFPA president Irene Clements at iclements@nfpaonline.org regarding interest in the communications subcommittee.

Dallas-Fort Worth area parents create new Facebook page

If you are a foster or adoptive parent living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, visit the new Facebook page of DFW Foster Parents, Adoptive Parents & Respite Providers Unite.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Foster parent input sought for informal survey

Gini Hatch-Pigott, a pediatrician and adoptive parent, has created a survey to glean wisdom from fellow foster parents and needs your input.

Click here to complete the survey.

Friday, January 20, 2012

An open letter to U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus

NFPA's Public Policy committee, with legal advocates' help, is pursuing an advocacy strategy to effectively address the country's foster care rates. Chair David Sharp shares an open letter to U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus regarding this matter.

Email David and share your own thoughts regarding the country's foster care board rates.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Upcoming elections and membership voting

NFPA will begin the voting process for its election on February 22.

Members will receive ballots to vote for the following positions:

Region 2 Vice President
Region 4 Vice President
Region 6 Vice President
Region 8 Vice President
Region 10 Vice President

You MUST be a member by January 31 to be eligible to vote in the election.

Click here to join NFPA today.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Directory of nationwide Parent Centers

Did you know that each state is home to at least one parent center? Parent centers serve families of children and young adults with disabilities, including physical, cognitive, emotional and learning.

Parent centers help families obtain appropriate education and services for their children with disabilities; train and inform parents and professionals on a variety of topics; resolve problems between families and schools and other agencies; and connect children with disabilities to community resources that address their needs.

View the index of Parent Centers here.

You can also view other resources for parents and families provided by the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE) here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Complimentary tickets to House of Blues Orlando concerts

Hear the Music Live is offering four (4) free tickets to foster families to the following events at the House of Blues Orlando.

January 18: Evanescene concert, 8 p.m.
January 22: Falling In Reverse concert, 6:30 p.m.
February 9: Allstar Weekend concert, 6 p.m.

Send an email to aimee_white@hearthemusiclive.org or sarah_embry@hearthemusiclive.org with the following information:

Name of Chaperone
Age and Gender of Each Foster Child Attending
Number of Tickets Requested
Email Address
Event Date, Venue and Artist

Hear the Music Live is a nonprofit organization that provides live music experiences to foster youth and teens.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Scholarship announced for health-related field

NursingHomeAbuse.net just launched a $5,000 scholarship, exclusively for U.S. students pursuing a degree that will help combat nursing home abuse. The scholarship will cover non-tuition related expenses such as rent, childcare, textbooks, utilities and groceries for the 2012-2013 academic year. The application window is January 15 through February 15.

For scholarship details or more general information, visit the website, call 832.499.0470 or email shannon@nursinghomeabuse.net.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

International Student Foundation seeking applicants

The International Student Foundation, a nonprofit that provides scholarships, mentoring and leadership training for select foster care and orphaned students, is accepting applications for scholarships to college for the Fall 2012 – Spring 2013 academic year.

If you are a young adult who has either aged-out already, or who will age-out soon and wants to pursue a higher-level education, contact Renee LeClair at renee@isfsite.org.

Applications will be accepted until March 31, 2012.

Call 972.267.8188 or visit the website at www.isfsite.org.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Nominate a Foster Family of the Year

Do you know a foster family that deserves to be recognized nationally? Nominate them for the 2012 NFPA Foster Family of the Year Award!

The award, a plaque bearing the name of the Foster Family of the Year, is presented to the family during NFPA's Annual Education Conference, which will be held June 15-18, 2012 in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Also check out the other awards NFPA will be distributing during its conference.

Deadline for nominations is March 1. All award forms, including criteria for the awards, are located on NFPA's 2012 Conference page.