The National Foster Parent Association has been the voice of foster parents for more than 40 years.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Wow, What a Month!
The National Voice of Foster Parents
Wow, What a Month!
National Foster Care Month
The National Foster Parent Association sends a heartfelt thanks to all who recognized the month of May as National Foster Care Month. We hope that through your efforts, foster care awareness was raised tenfold. We've listed some events that took place around the country for May.
Have you registered for our conference yet? Don't wait, pre-registration ends TODAY (June 1). If you miss today's deadline, you can register and pay on site. We're making big plans to provide you with awesome training and a chance to meet and mingle with other foster and adoptive parents across the country.
The conference will be held at the Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort just outside of Chicago. The room rate is $80 per night and it's only 15 minutes from either O'Hare or Midway airports.
Our keynote speakers will be Mary Peterson, an educator and author from Chicago, and The Honorable Thomas B. "Britt" Hammond of the Toombs County Judicial Circuit Court. We have an exciting group of trainers lined up for you and your members so send everyone the schedule so they can pick out their sessions early.
Please consider donating items for our silent auction. Proceeds from the auction will go toward the 2013 NFPA Youth Scholarship Fund. Details can be found here.
Welcome NFPA Exhibitors!
Illinois Foster and Adoptive Parent Association
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois
Hannah's Crafts and Gifts
University of Phoenix Scholarships Available
NFPA has partnered with the University of Phoenix to provide 15 full-tuition scholarships to the following:
A current foster youth
An alumnus of foster care
A foster parent (eligibility requirements listed online)
FosterParentCollege.com has the following new classes to offer: The Foster Home Investigation Process, The Role of Mandated Child Abuse Reporters, and Caring for Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused. When you purchase FosterParentCollege.com classes through the NFPA link, FPC makes a donation to NFPA. View link here.
NFPA Partners with PTRC and TRI for National Survey
Placement disruption is devastating not only to our fragile youth, but to the foster/resource parents who care for them. As we are all aware, most of the children and adolescents in our care suffer from mental health issues and/or substance abuse issues, but what we are willing to accept and how much we understand about the conditions can make a difference in the success of the placement. To begin to gain information from foster/resource parents themselves, the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA) is working with the Parents Translational Research Center (PTRC) at the Treatment Research Institute (TRI) to conduct a national survey of foster/resource parents’ views on adolescent alcohol and other drug use.
Foster/resource parents will be asked to complete a survey that will ask them questions about their fostering experiences and what they know and think about adolescent alcohol and other drug use. There will also be questions about their training experiences related to substance abuse and other child / adolescent issues like mental health. The survey will take about 30-45 minutes to complete and parents will be paid $35 for their participation.
Please contact your state association to join their mailing list so you can be sent a link to the survey when it is released. View more information here.
App for Tracking Medications for Foster Children
Did you know there is an iPhone app for tracking psychotropic medications for foster children? The Children's Psychotropic Medications Calculator (Kids Med Calc) phone app keeps a database of records of a child's prescriptions. When an individual child's prescribed medication information is entered, the application will provide warning messages identifying if and how guidelines are being violated. With the overmedication of foster children taking the national stage recently, this app could prove useful to foster parents.
Fact Sheet for Foster Teens Seeking Higher Education
If you have a teen close to aging out who would like to attend college or if you are a foster parent association leader with an independent living program, this fact sheet -- Postsecondary Education Resources for Youth In and Transitioning Out of the Child Welfare System -- is for you. The fact sheet was made available by the Legal Center for Foster Care & Education. View the fact sheet (pdf).
For Our Affiliates
Planet Green Fundraiser
You and your supporters can turn your trash into cash by recycling inkjet cartridges, cell phones, iPods, digital cameras and other small electronics. Click here to learn more about Planet Green.
5 Questions to Ask Before Involving Your Volunteers
If there were ever a situation that required volunteers, it would be a special event such as a fair or gala. Take a step back to form a cohesive volunteer management strategy before putting the troops to work. In his book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Recruiting and Managing Volunteers,” John L. Lipp highlights five questions to ask yourself that will help you better manage your volunteers for the big event:
How many volunteers will you need? Hint: Answering “a ton” doesn’t cut it. The answer you come up with will depend on how much you have going on at your event. For example, if you are planning a festival that runs from noon to 5 p.m., you will probably want 100 or more volunteers depending on the amount of activities you have.
How long do you envision each volunteer shift to be? Because special events involve intense public interactions, most shifts average three to four hours. Ask your committee members to think about what would be a reasonable shift.
What kind of skills will the volunteers need? Think about the different activities you have at your event. If it is a gala, you will probably want some volunteers that have experience making mixed drinks.
What kind of training will we need? Of course, you will be hard pressed to find volunteers who will have all the skills you need. Make sure your committee understands you are going to need an orientation to the event.
Where can you find additional volunteers? You may be the volunteer coordinator, but everyone on the planning committee has a responsibility to help recruit new volunteers. Work together to think of the best places to find new recruits. The best locations will vary depending on the theme of the event.