So since I moved to a new state I am in the process of getting relicensed here....unfortunately that means going through all the classes AGAIN! Once I decided on my agency they came out to do an Introductory meeting. A Family Development worker came out for about an hour and went over the basics of foster care and how the licensing process works. Thankfully, since I was already familiar with the whole process they are allowing me to take the classes out of order, this way I will be done faster. They have a session going on right now that is an all day Saturday class. This class covers 2 classes each week. I missed the first Saturday, so I will do Class 3 and 4 next Saturday and Class 5 in a few weeks. I am then going to join the other session to do Class 1 and then Class 2 on Tuesday evenings. I should be done with the classes by the end of the month. Ill update this post as I take the classes.
During the Introductory meeting he let me know that they do the homestudy concurrently with the classes, so this should also speed things along. In my old state you had to finish all the classes, submit all the paperwork and then you would get assigned a homestudy worker. It took almost a whole year to get licensed!
Tonight was class one which focused on permanency. It included two videos...you know the rainbows and unicorn videos that paints being a foster parent as a respected member of the team, nipping any problem behaviors from children with a funny line or hug, and birth parents who are grateful for you taking care of their kids while they focus on getting themselves back on track. LOL, I had to stop myself from laughing :) I desperately wanted to stop the video and turn to the class and SCREAM, this is NOT what foster care is like, but alas I figured that would not put me on the good side of the new agency.
My "homework" for next class is to basically make a family tree....so yeah Ill get right on that.
Class 3: Focus on Abuse and Neglect
This is always a hard topic to cover as you touch on the horrors that many of our children live through.
Class 4: Focus on Grief and Loss
I was really pleased with the social workers coverage in this area, he himself had been a foster parent for many years and seemed to have a really good grasp on attachment issues. I think he covered loss and attachment in a way that burst the rainbows and unicorns that many first time foster or adopt parents have, but also didn't make it seem like you were signing up to enter hell :)