The average age for the children in foster care was 9.7 years. Average length of stay in foster care was 27.2 months. The largest percentage of children (47 percent) were in a nonrelative foster family home. Forty-nine percent had a case goal of reunification. 123,000 were awaiting adoption, down from 132,000 in FY 2007. (Children's Bureau AFCARS report, Fiscal Year 2008)
"As a foster parent I am always searching for learning opportunities. This was by far the best series I have participated in and I have been sharing it with everyone. The format was very user friendly and the information was priceless. We are fostering a tough start five year old who we plan to adopt. Much of this information was very applicable to us at this moment."
-Lara Willox, PhD
College of Education
University of West Georgia
The presence of extremely challenging behaviors in children may indicate that the child has experienced trauma in their early days. Trauma, in this case, may include prenatal substance exposure or being born into a neglectful, chaotic or abusive environment. Many adopted children, international or domestic, have faced this kind of suboptimal beginning in life -- a Tough Start.
With informative, practical and encouraging material, the Tough Starts Series equips adoptive parents with insight into how their child's tough start in life may lead to troubling behavior years later and teaches parents how to intercede and help the child heal.
Brain Development Matters thoroughly explains the impact that early trauma has on a child's brain chemistry, brain development and sensory processing. Once parents understand how their child's brain is connected to his behaviors, these behaviors begin to make more sense. With a thorough understanding of brain development, parents are better prepared to learn how to more successfully intervene and shape their child's troubling behaviors.
Treatment Matters gives parents strategies for seeking professional help as soon as they recognize significant challenges in their child. Understand the importance of a diagnosis, when to consider medication and how to choose a therapist.
Parenting Matters applies a strengths-based, therapeutic approach parenting in order to heal a child who has had a tough start in life. Learn this deliberate and intentional approach to parenting through exercises, family stories and expert advice.
The goal of this course is to help parents understand the toll raising a tough start child can take on them, their relationships and their other children. Family Matters teaches techniques parents can use to support each member of the family, and themselves, through these challenges.
Once the package is purchased, each individual course will appear in your account. Courses can be taken in any order. After successfully completing a course and its end of course evaluation, or post test, you'll be eligible for a Certificate of Completion for that unique course.
Individual courses can't be refunded nor other courses substituted.
Michelle Madrid-Branch shares her personal journey and the things that helped and hurt along the way. An adoption-competent therapist joins her with advice on what adoptive parents can do to help foster a healthy sense of self, while keeping their adopted children company along the way.
Judy has been with Adoption Learning Partners' since the beginning. She remains
involved in development and content and was a featured Subject Matter Expert
for our Tough Starts Matter Series.
Read our blog post