This five part series was developed to assist foster families in understanding the shift toward Virginia’s Team Based transaction approach in the foster care program. (Maybe explain what VA –Team Based thingy is?)

1. Being Professional – Role of the Foster Parent

Foster parents often state that they do not feel valued as an equal member of the foster child’s team. This session focuses on the foster parent’s role, honest expectation of DSS and how to best communicate their perspective as a foster parent.

2. Biological Family Engagement – Biological Family’s Role

Studies have shown that one of the best ways to reduce trauma for children in foster care as well as increase attachment is to engage the biological family from the onset of foster care placement.

Including biological parents as part of the foster child’s team is difficult for foster parents and caseworkers alike.

This training segment explores the benefits of engagement for both foster child and foster parent as well as provides practical strategies while maintaining the safety of the foster child in the foster home.

Matthew Child’s special guest speaker has navigated the foster care program from both sides. She has been through a DSS intervention in her own home and worked towards the reward of bringing her kids home. She has now become a foster parent herself and working in therapeutic service field after earning a degree in Social Work.

3. Working with DSS – Caseworker's Role

This session focuses on DSS’s role, exploring the relationship between foster parent and caseworker. Matthew Child partners with DSS that provides perspective into a case workers responsibilities and boundaries.

4. Community’s Role – Schools, Doctors, etc.

5. Court Process/GAL/CASA