Foster Care Training Resources to Meet Minnesota Education Requirements
The state of Minnesota requires that foster care and foster care adoption families complete a number of classes in order to complete their licensure as foster parents. We’ve compiled a number of these required training opportunities below. The requirements are subject to change, so please confirm with your social worker that you’ve completed all training requirements. In addition, we’ve included resources for optional training you can take to increase your knowledge and preparedness.
There are two steps you must complete to start your process of fostering or adopting kids in Minnesota foster care: a two-hour Foster Care & Adoption Orientation and a multi-day Foster Care & Adoption Education class. For our multi-day class, we have in-person and online options, we also have classes that can be completed in two days or over three days with fewer hours per day. Many families find it helpful to attend the orientation first because it provides an overview of the process and addresses details such as children served, timelines, fees (spoiler: there are practically none), licensing requirements, etc.Register Here: Foster Care & Adoption Orientation Class
Foster Care & Adoption Education Class
Another early step is attending our Foster Care & Adoption Education Classes. These classes will familiarize you with the children in foster care—including those waiting to be adopted—the needs they commonly have, and the foster care and adoption process. You will also have the opportunity to listen to panels of adoptive parents and waiting or adopted teens.Register Here: Foster Care & Adoption Education Class
Normalcy and Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard Training
Children and youth in foster care need to experience the same types of developmentally appropriate and social activities that their friends, families, and classmates who are not in care experience. A new law permits foster parents, designated corporate foster care staff, and residential staff to allow foster children to participate in normal childhood activities by applying the reasonable and prudent parent standard.
Each applicant is required to watch this training and complete the corresponding quiz prior to licensure.First: Watch the YouTube video of the Normalcy and Reasonable Prudent Parent Standard Training Next: Complete this verification form and submit it to your worker
You may find it helpful to also access these resources:
- PowerPoint slides from the 2016 Virtual Presence Communication (VPN), Normalcy and Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard Training (PDF)
- Minnesota’s Normalcy & the Reasonable & Prudent Parent Standard (PDF)
Child and Restraint Systems (C.A.R.S.) Class
This 3-hour course is required by the State of Minnesota for any family licensed for children aged 7 years or younger. The class takes place in person and introduces participants to car seat and vehicle safety for children. The cost of the class is $28.50 per person, and completion verification is good for 5 years. This hands-on learning opportunity takes place at 1605 Eustis St. Paul, MN.
Please follow the below instructions to create an account and register for an upcoming C.A.R.S. Class.
- To register, each individual should create an account at Insight Identity.
- Once your account has been created, visit Develop — Event Search to search for upcoming trainings.
- Type C.A.R.S. in the Course Title Box and scroll through the results to identify a training offered by CH/LSS.
- Select your preferred date.
- You will then be brought to an external page (Eventbrite) to complete your registration and payment. Please note that each individual should register for the training through their own Develop Tool account.
- Once you have completed the course, you may access your completion verification through your Developtoolmn.org account. After logging in, on the top right-hand side, click “trainings” to view and print a record of your completed trainings to provide to your foster care licensor.
Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) Training
Each applicant must complete the trainings and verification form if approved to foster a child aged 5 years or younger.First: Visit the DHS site to complete this training Next: Complete this verification form and submit it to your worker
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Applicants must complete this training within the first 12 months of licensure. After the first 12 months of licensure, training on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) may be part of the 12 hours of the required in-service training per year.
The FASD training should include any of the following keywords: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, Alcohol-Related Birth Defects, Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder, Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol. The training must be approved by your worker in order to count towards annual continuing education for licensure. The keywords come directly from DHS licensing and must be included in the titles/descriptions of the trainings.Visit Anoka County’s Website for Mandatory FASD Training
Children’s Mental Health
Applicants must complete two hours of Children’s Mental Health (CMH) training prior to licensure. This initial two-hour requirement is fulfilled as part of our two-day Foster Care & Adoption Class (listed above). After the initial requirement, applicants must complete at least one hour of CMH training as part of their 12 required annual training hours.
The CMH training should include any of the following keywords: Attachment, Trauma, Depression, Resiliency, Medication (psychotropic), Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Anxiety, Bipolar, Behavior Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Development, or Eating Disorders. The training must be approved by your worker in order to count towards annual continuing education for licensure. The keywords come directly from DHS licensing and must be included in the titles/descriptions of the trainings.
Optional Educational Resources
While these trainings are not required by the State of Minnesota, we believe our families may be interested in learning more with the resources below.
We have a number of webinar options available on our On-Demand Webinars page. They cover a variety of topics such as older child adoption, adopting children living with specific needs, trauma, supporting your child’s racial identity, openness in adoption, the adoption tax credit, and more. All of these webinars are free.Visit Our On-Demand Webinars Page
Our families can access all of the adoption podcasts at Creating a Family for free! There are over 100 podcasts available on a wide range of topics so we’re sure you will find at least one that will help you prepare for bringing your child(ren) home.
To gain free access, first, ask your social worker for the coupon code, then:
- Visit the Creating a Family Adopt Ed section
- Find the podcast that interests you and click “Add to Cart”
- Then view your shopping cart as if you were going to check out. On the shopping cart, apply the coupon code provided by your social worker.
- The shopping cart will refresh with no balance. Complete your checkout and you will be emailed a link to access the podcast.
You can use this coupon code for as many educational resources as you like.
Abuse & Neglect
National Child Traumatic Stress Network – Resources for Parents & Caregivers:This website includes a wealth of resources for parents, including information about the effects of abuse and trauma, effective treatments for children, and a glossary.
Child Welfare Information Gateway – Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Brain Development: This is an easy-to-understand bulletin for professionals about the effects of maltreatment on brain development in infancy and early childhood.
Child Trauma Academy: Articles, videos, and an e-newsletter about how to help traumatized and maltreated children.
United States Department of Veterans Affairs Factsheet – PTSD in Children and Adolescents: A factsheet about the signs, symptoms, and causes of PTSD in children and adolescents.
American Academy of Pediatrics – Parenting after Trauma: Understanding your Child’s Needs: A guide to understanding trauma and helping your child learn to trust.
Project Pathfinder: A local resource for families looking for consultation or therapeutic help about sexualized behaviors in children or sexual abuse.
Stop It Now! Minnesota: This website includes links to factsheets about sexual abuse, a link to sign up for a newsletter for parents of children with sexualized behaviors, a pdf that can help you create a family safety plan, and many more resources.
- Adopting the Hurt Child (Revised Edition): Hope for Families with Special Needs Kids by Gregory C. Keck
- Adopting the Sexually Abused Child by Joan McNamara
Children’s Success Foundation – What is the Nurtured Heart Approach?
This approach offers tools and methodology that focus on a child’s inherent greatness. This website includes an overview, training, books, and additional resources.
FosterClub’s Online Training for Foster Parents
FosterClub is a site for foster youth and foster parents. This section of the website includes free training for foster parents about birth families, the court system, education, mental health, special needs, and transitioning children into adulthood. During the period in which you are foster care licensed, you can use these courses towards your continuing education requirements as well.
- Adopting the Hurt Child (Revised Edition): Hope for Families with Special Needs Kids by Gregory C. Keck
- Adopting the Older Child by Claudia L. Jewett
- A Child’s Journey Through Placement by Vera I. Fahlberg, M.D.
- Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past by Betsy Keefer and Jayne Schooner
- Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best
- The Good Enough Teen by Brad Sachs
- Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens by Debbie Riley and John Meeks
- The Child Trauma Academy – Bonding and Attachment in Maltreated Children: An easy-to-understand online course about the attachment consequences of emotional neglect in early childhood.
- Nancy Thomas Parenting – Families by Design: A great deal of information about attachment problems, adult attachment, trauma and attachment, parenting, therapy, school issues, and an extensive bibliography of books related to attachment.
- Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents by Deborah D. Gray
- Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by Gregory Keck and Regina M. Kupecky
- Building the Bonds of Attachment by Daniel Hughes
- The Search Institute – Developmental Assets: This website is designed to provide parents with information about how to build a child’s developmental assets so that they can “grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.”
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry – Normal Adolescent Development: A brief fact sheet about typical adolescent development.
- Child Welfare Information Gateway – Adoption and the Stages of Development: A helpful article about how various adoption-related issues (grief and loss, identity, separation) are expressed as your child moves through the different stages of development.
- Why Do They Act That Way?: A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen by David Walsh
- Understanding Child Development: For Adults who Work with Young Children by Rosalind Charlesworth
- A Child’s Journey through Placement by Vera Falhberg
Grief & Loss
RESOLVE – The National Infertility Association
Information about infertility, local support groups, and grief and loss related to infertility.
Child Welfare Information Gateway – Helping Adopted Children Cope with Grief and Loss
Resources that can help families understand and help their children with the loss and grief associated with adoption.
North American Council on Adoptable Children – Ambiguous Loss Haunts Foster and Adopted Children
Article that acknowledges losses and offers strategies for parents to help the child deal with it.
- Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief by Pauline Boss
- Helping People with Developmental Disabilities Mourn: Practical Rituals for Caregivers by Mark A. Markell
- The Children Who Lived: Using Harry Potter and Other Fictional Characters to Help Grieving Children and Adolescents by Kathryn A. Markell and Mark A. Markell
- Helping Children Cope with Separation and Loss by Claudia Jewett Jarrett
Openness in Adoption
Adoptive Families Magazine – Understanding Open Adoption
A short article about the complexity of open adoption.
PACT: An Adoption Alliance – Birth Parents, Birth Family in Adoption
Catalog of articles relating to birth and adoptive families and navigating relationships.
Adoptive Families Association of BC – Openness
The website section breaks down openness and offers further reading on the subject.
Child Welfare Information Gateway – Open Adoption and Contact with Birth Family
Offers an overview and additional links to more information.
Social Work Today – Social Media and the Post-Adoption Experience
An article that explores the complexity of birth family contact via social media.
- Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past by Jayne Schooler and Betsy Keefer
- Making Sense of Adoption: A Parent’s Guide by Lois Ruskai Melina
Special/Identified Needs – Commonly Seen Diagnoses
A national leader in promoting awareness about the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure and advocacy for individuals and families impacted by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
British Columbia’s Ministry for Children and Families – Parenting Children Affected by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Guide for Daily Living
This is an extensive description of FASD issues including concrete ideas for parents.
National Institute of Mental Health — Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Details about the symptoms of and treatments for ADHD.
A local resource for families whose children have ADHD that offers workshops, support groups, and tutoring services.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
ADHD fact sheets with information on symptoms, treatments, and other helpful resources.
National Institute of Mental Health — Depression
Details about the symptoms and treatments for depression.
National Alliance on Mental Health – Teen Depression
Signs of depression, ways to help, and how to care for an entire family that is affected by depression.
Families for Depression Awareness
Details about the symptoms and treatments for depression.
National Institute of Mental Health — Anxiety Disorders
Details about the five most common anxiety disorders and information about available treatments.
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry — Anxiety Disorders Resource Center
Information and resources on anxiety disorders specific to children and adolescents
National Institute of Mental Health — Eating Disorders
Symptoms of the three main eating disorders and information about available treatments.
The Emily Program
A Minnesota-based treatment program for eating disorders. This website includes information about warning signs.
MNAdopt — Choosing an Adoption Therapist
Advice for parents on choosing a therapist.
Foster Adopt MN — Find Qualified Minnesota Adoption Therapists
Traits of a therapist knowledgeable of working with children in the adoption process.
Child Welfare Information Gateway — Selecting and Working with an Adoption Therapist
Description of the types of help available, questions to ask during a phone interview, and how to determine if a therapist is the right “fit” for your family.
Time Magazine — The Realities of Raising a Kid of a Different Race
Article from an adoptive mother’s perspective on her experience as a transracial parent.
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association — Transracial Parenting in Foster Care and Adoption: Strengthening your Bicultural Family
A guidebook for parents and children in transracial homes with information about how to help children in transracial families thrive and how to help children gain a strong sense of racial identity.
PACT: An Adoption Alliance
A site addressing issues for adopted children of color, including a list of Transracial/Interracial Adoption Articles and White Privilege, among other subjects.
A Project of the American Anthropological Association — Race: Are We So Different?
A fascinating look at race through three lenses: ‘Lived Experience, ‘Human Variation’, and ‘History’.
MNAdopt Fact Sheet – Resources on Race, Racism, and Racialized Violence
Book recommendations separated into themes for children, teens, and adults to talk about race and adoption.
- Inside Transracial Adoption by Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall
- In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Own Stories by Rita Simon and Rhonda Roorda
- In Their Parents’ Voices: Reflections on Raising Transracial Adoptees by Rita Simon and Rhonda Roorda
- Black Baby, White Hands: A View From the Crib by Jaiya John