The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to award one cooperative agreement to develop a state-of-the-art foster/adoptive parent training program to include intensive preparation and development components that reflect the capacities required of successful foster/adoptive parents.
is intended to be a product that could be utilized by all states, tribes, and territories and consistently applied wherever implemented.
Development of this program would include research on the common characteristics of individuals and their foster/adoptive families that have succeeded in terms of well-being and stability.
Common characteristics of families that are more likely to foster and/or adopt harder to place children/youth and are successful and remain committed to the relationship will be identified and integrated into the program.
The program would be inclusive of development, training, and capacity needs of individuals/families that are interested in becoming foster parents, as well as those who are interested in fostering with the intention to eventually adopt; therefore many concepts would be in common for foster and adoptive parents.
There would be particular focus for foster parents on working on reunification efforts with birth parents and for adoption there would be particular focus on the common adoption issues pertinent to all types of adoption, i.e., child welfare, private domestic, and international.
The initial year would entail an extensive review of all current training and preparation programs and include new intervention strategies that foster/adoptive parents should be skilled in as they develop as foster and adoptive parents.
The initial year would also involve the basic development of the new intensive training modules.
The subsequent years would involve testing the training in 6-8 sites, refining the curriculum, making the curriculum available to all States, Tribes, and territories and assisting them with integrating it into their systems.
An evaluation of the outcomes of the new intensive training curriculum would also be produced through this FOA.
Adoption is most likely to be successful when the adoptive family is properly educated about the background and needs of the child placed in their care, has learned appropriate intervention strategies for the mental health, medical, emotional and behavioral challenges of the child and fully commits to embracing these challenges.
Preparation services benefit the adoptive placement by strengthening the caregivers understanding of the unique needs of the child and developing their own capacities in relation to the child’s needs and is able to nurture the relational permanency needed.
Outcomes will include:
State-of-the-art training curricula that could be consistently applied across the nation for the development of foster and adoptive parents that will be equipped to meet the current needs of children/youth in the foster care system; State-of-the-art training curricula that could also be used as a model for private domestic and international adoptive families; and Improved outcomes for children/youth in foster and adoptive homes with improved capacity to meet their needs.
The project period for this cooperative agreement is 5 years with five 12-month budget periods.
In years 2 through 5, CB anticipates that the funding level will be up to $2 million per year.