So, you’re researching what it takes to become a foster parent and want to know more about the training required to do so. Pathways Youth & Family Services follows the minimum standards laid out by Texas Health & Human Services.
The first step is attending an orientation, currently being held online, to discover the services that Pathways offers, along with information about the children who come into care and what the foster parent role looks like. If you are ready to move forward at that point, you can fill out the application available on our site. The application collects information about you, who lives in your home, military status, employment history, and several other items that allows Pathways to determine if you and your home are a good foster parent fit. Once the application, background check, and fingerprinting are submitted, pending approval, Pathways will contact you to schedule an interview and get you set up for training.
This part of the process is referred to as “pre-service,” and is required to become a foster parent or Kinship Care parent, as well as to maintain licensing. Pathways provides a training calendar that lists dates and times of each course available.
Once you get to the training step, a list of required courses will be given to you. The comprehensive training list is too long to include in this article, but a few examples of the courses you’ll need to take are as follows:
- Psychotropic Medication
- Medical Consent
- Reporting Sexual Abuse.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, these courses are currently being offered as online courses until further notice, and at no cost to current or potential foster parents.
If you are already a parent, you may wonder why you would be required to take these courses to prepare you for being a foster parent. Children entering the foster care system will have experienced some level of trauma, neglect, or abuse. By completing the required courses, you will learn how to handle situations in which a child may have an outburst of anger, or be able to identify behaviors that will help you understand when a child needs therapy or additional support. Upon completion of each course, you will receive a certificate of completion. Some courses require annual recertification, while others will be valid for two years or more.
CPR certification is also required in this training process. CPR will teach you how to recognize and respond to cardiac emergencies involving children and babies and will teach you how to give breaths and sustain life until help arrives. It may sound scary, but being prepared if a child chokes on a toy or his lunch will give you peace of mind in the long run.
The class consists of a presentation and hands-on experience with a training mannequin. Some CPR classes offer the training portion online, while the hands-on portion is provided in-person at a later date. These courses are offered at various locations; the American Red Cross can be consulted for more information.