We offer congregations a comprehensive selection of courses and events for families who are either considering or have already become foster or adoptive parents. We provide leaders, course materials, event supplies, and guides. Our goal is to get every one of the estimated 1,500 children in the Greater Houston area placed into a forever home. We are counting on the estimated 4,000 houses of worship in our area to help us!
Adoption and Foster Care AWARENESS Events
Who: This event is an introduction to foster care and all types of adoption. It is designed for all who want to help children, whether planning to bring a child into your home or helping others that do, everyone can help.
What: This 1.5 hour event is one of the key entry points for our other programs and is the first step before signing up for Cultivating Families Decision Course. We provide an informative, myth-busting look at what foster care is, while describing the many types of adoption and translating the language and terminology within this world into simple terms.
Adoption and Foster Care DECISIONS Course
Who: This course is designed for anyone with even a seed of interest in learning more about foster care or adoption. The course is led by local experts, including foster and adopted parents, an adoption tax specialist, and home study consultants, many of whom have walked that road themselves.
What: Our three-week course (2.5 hour sessions each week) delves into the various foster/adoption care topics to enable participants to make the best decision for their family, including realistic expectations, costs, home study requirements, legal issues, the step-by-step timeline, and the “who’s who” in the world of foster care and adoption. We believe that the more informed and prepared a family can be before placement, the more successful that placement will be – for the child, the family, the family’s support structure, and the community at large.
Adoption/Foster/Kinship SUPPORTIVE CARE Group
Who: Both foster care and adoption can be an isolating experience – our support group is for foster parents, adoptive parents, and relatives that take in a loved one’s child. The format provides a sense of belonging to all parties involved.
What: Our group tool-kit makes it simple for a staff person or volunteer to host a monthly meeting. However, the foster/adoptive family dynamic came to be, there are unique rewards and challenges that only foster, adoptive, and kinship parents face. The potential for emotional, intellectual, and physical stress can become very high and every bit of research shows that support systems (both formal and informal) can have a beneficial influence on the entire family.
Adoptive/Foster Care PARENT TRAINING
Who: Parent training is designed for current and future foster/adopt families. However, the material covered in these courses is invaluable to all who spend time with children, including relatives, teachers, childcare workers, pastors, and children’s program volunteers. Both courses are led by certified ETC Parent Trainers.
What: Our current recommended curriculum is the Empowered to Connect (ETC) Parent Training, developed by Michael & Amy Monroe relies heavily on the Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) model developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and her colleagues at the TCU Institute of Child Development. This training equips participants to understand the impact of their child’s history, the fundamentals of attachment, the impact of fear, and the importance of meeting their child’s needs. This training provides insights and skills parents need to both connect with their child and correct their behavior as needed.
Trauma-Informed Volunteer and Child Care Worker Training
Who: This course, led by a Cultivating Families staff member, is designed for volunteers and child care workers to understand children’s unique needs related to their history of trauma, neglect, or illness.
What: While less in-depth than our parenting training courses, our Trauma-Informed Volunteer and Child Care Worker Training equips professionals with specific tools for classrooms, small group activity, and nursery applications. The topics covered will ease the challenges as the volunteers and child care workers understand the impact of children’s history, how their history affects their current behavior, and the importance of meeting their current needs.