The Value of Foster Care Training.

Samantha, me, Camden and my 2nd child, Haley, at Camden’s  Placement.
By:  Brenda Horrocks
UFA Co-Chair
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When Brad and I took the pre-service training to be foster parents we never realized the impact the
We took 8 classes together.  We had an amazing teacher,
Kelly Peterson
,
who is CEO of The Utah Foster Care Foundation and also sits on the Board of Directors for UFA’s parent adoption agency,
Covenant Adoption
.
Kelly came in with lots of information, incredible experience and amazing stories. 

Brad and I felt like we had just taken the best 8 parenting classes that ever existed. 

The classes helped us decided, YES we wanted to work as foster parents with the hope that someday we would have the opportunity to adopt.   Little did we know those classes would not only help us be foster parents but on December 17, 2006 a sweet little 8 month old boy was placed in our arms by an amazing birth mother and birth father.   We knew this birth mom from the time she was pregnant with Camden.  She had come to our home and felt if she did decide to place for adoption she would place with us.  After going back and forth a couple of times she decided to parent but then after 8 months of hard reality and 8 months of feelings about Camden’s future she made the amazing decision to place him with our family.   
Brad and Camden at  Placement.
  I am continually grateful for the foster care training classes we had taken only a couple months before Camden was placed with us.   Those classes helped us understand how to help Camden in his transition to his new home and family.   While Camden wasn’t placed with us through foster care he needed a smooth transition so he could feel safe.   If you are contemplating on whether or not you want to be a foster parent I would suggest you go ahead and take the classes.   You will gain some very useful and great information that may end up helping you in other areas of your life.   So much of what we have learned has helped us be better parents.  Even if you don’t become a foster parent…you will benefit from the training.  So you have nothing to lose.
If fear is standing in your way of becoming a foster parent then the classes are perfect for you…they help you get correct information which will help you make a better decision.
Working in foster care is an amazing journey.  It breaks your heart sometimes and brings joy beyond measure!  Our family was touched by each child that entered our heart and home.  We had a positive experience with all of our cases and I believe much of the reason behind our success was due to the information we received in our training.
Putting the learning into action.  Here I am snuggling my new little guy in his own blanket from his first home…an important transition tool. 
Make the classes your date night.  Go to class then go to dinner and talk about all you have heard and learned.  Brad and I did this and it brought us closer as a couple and helped us with parenting our children.
Check with your local Department of Child and Family Services to find out when and where foster training happens in your state and then just do it!
You won’t regret it!

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