The Traumatic Stress Institute fosters the transformation of organizations and service systems to trauma-informed care (TIC) through the delivery of whole-system consultation, professional training, coaching, and research.

Risking Connection for Foster Parents is a training model that adapts the philosophy and principles of the original Risking Connection curriculum for foster parents who are caring for youth with trauma histories. This curriculum is also appropriate for teaching biological or kinship parents.

As the child welfare system relies less on residential treatment to treat their most stressed children and youth, more emphasis is being place on foster care.  In order for this to be successful, it is critical that foster parents receive sufficient training and support to keep children in their homes, limit disruptions, and promote long term healing of trauma and attachment wounds.

Risking Connections for Foster Parents contains six, two and a half hour sessions. These sessions can be taught once a week for six weeks or combined in other ways. The sessions cover the following topics:

Session 1: The Trauma Framework and Introduction to Vicarious Traumatization

Session 2: Symptoms are Adaptations

Session 3: Healing Through Relationships

Session 4: Managing a Crisis

Session 5: Responding When the Child Hurts Others

Session 6: Taking Care of Ourselves While Doing This Difficult Work

Understanding trauma, how it affects children, and how they can heal helps the foster family define problem behavior differently. They learn to see that the behavior is not about them, but instead an understandable adaptation to the child’s traumatic experiences.

The sessions include engaging and participatory learning modalities such as video, application exercise, small group activities, and discussion. Every effort has been made to make the material accessible to parents.

If your agency is interested in the RC for Foster Parents training, contact Steve Brown, Coordinator of Risking Connection Training, at [email protected].