DHS provides training for foster parents at no expense. Training opportunities are offered throughout the year. Training enrollment is coordinated and arranged with your resource specialist.
Each adult in a foster or kinship home is required to complete 27 credit hours of pre-service training before becoming a foster parent.
Each class session builds on information learned in previous sessions. Due to space limitations and the nature of the material, class sizes are limited. If you are interested in this training, please contact your resource specialist to enroll and receive information about the dates, times and locations.
The training will cover the following:
- Protecting and nurturing the children who have been abused, emotionally maltreated, or neglected;
- Methods to promote healthy development;
- The importance of promoting safety for children who have experienced trauma;
- Supporting relationships between children and their parents, siblings, and kin, as specified by DHS; and
- Connecting children to safe, nurturing relationships and collaborating with DHS as a team member
Each adult in a foster or kinship home is required to complete 12 credit hours of training each year.
Ways to obtain these credits include (but are not limited to):
- Support Groups (two training credits are awarded for each meeting that includes training; fun activities will not be counted for training credit)
- Peer Meetings/Gatherings: mentoring, advisory committees, associations, etc. (Note: no more than 6 of your 12 annual credit hours can be obtained this way)
- Parent Skills Training: Sooner Start, Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
- Independent Study: reading books/articles, DHS Monthly Resource Reminder (Note: no more than 6 of your 12 annual credit hours can be obtained this way)
- Computer-based training: videos/webinars, online courses, listening to podcasts
- Medical/Developmental Care Skills (training)
Training credits are generally awarded according the table below. (If you have any questions about an activity counting as a training credit, please check with your worker for approval prior to completing the training and submitting documentation.)
- Several training methods have limits as to the number of training credits that can be earned in that category within a year.
- DHS Support Groups with training earn two credits per meeting.
Certificates & Training Verification
If you attend a training that issues a training completion certificate, submit the certificate to your worker, along with a training agenda or other information that documents the training content and your time.
For all other training, please submit a completed In-Service Training Verification Form.
- Online Training
- Paid by Resource Parents
- Free for DHS and Tribal Parents
- Community Training
- Support Groups
- Books, Magazines, Articles
- US DHHS CHILDREN’S BUREAU CHILD WELFARE: These Children’s Bureau resources offer free in-service training curricula and materials to foster families on topics such as behavior management, sibling issues, independent living, and more.
- FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: Each foster parent must contact their CW Specialist to request enrollment into this LMS. Please note: this is the same LMS that new foster and adoptive parents take the initial 12 hours of RFT Training. This website has various other trainings, with a quiz attached. Each training is typically given 1 hour of credit. Print your certificate at the end of each training to give to your CW Specialist.
- OKLAHOMA FOSTERS DHS RESOURCE CENTER: This website has training videos on various topics. Length of videos range from 10 minutes to two hours. Complete a training report for each video viewed to give to your worker.
Paid by Resource Parents
- *FOSTER CLUB TRAINING: Taking training for credit requires a subscription. Foster Club has 18 courses currently listed, ranging from 1.50 to 3.00 credit hours. Bulk rate pricing is available to agencies: 01-10 = $24.95; 11-50 = 21.21; 51-200 = $19.96; 201-500 = $18.71; 501+ = $17.47
- *FOSTER PARENT TRAINING: Taking training for credit requires a yearly subscription, charged by year, not by training credits. There are 250 hours of in service training materials that can be converted to a PDF, which allows access for downloading and printing by any computer. A training log is supplied. New subscription for couples includes 2 Foster Parent Memberships for$29.99/year, renewal is $24.00/year. New single membership is $14.99/year, with renewal at $12.00/year. Training Certificate is printable after participant lists four things he/she has learned about a particular training topic, with the answers placed on the certificate.
- *TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE EXTENSION: This website has various online courses for child care and behavioral health. To receive official credit for the courses, participants must pass a course exam and pay a processing fee to obtain a printable certificate (most certificate course costs are between $7.00 and $12.00 per course, but some of them are free of charge). Courses are offered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Free for DHS and Tribal Parents
DHS provides 12 pre-paid online in-service training hours through Foster Care & Adoptive Community (FCAC) or Foster Parent College (FPC) each year for DHS and Tribal foster, kinship, and adoptive parents.
These pre-paid training hours are not available to resource parents providing (a) Therapeutic Foster Care or (b) care through a contracted agency. Such families should discuss in-service training options with their contractor agency.
- FOSTER PARENT COLLEGE: This website has various articles and online workshops. This is a national site and there is a fee for many of the trainings on this website. Some workshops are translated into Spanish. Print your certificate at the end of each training to give to your worker.
- FOSTER CARE & ADOPTIVE COMMUNITY: Foster Care and Adoptive Community (FCAC) Training offers 154 courses, with new topics added continuously. This is a national site and there is a fee for each training on this website. Certificates are immediately generated with the passing of a course test. Certificates may be emailed or downloaded directly to your computer and printed out.
To access your free 12 hours of training:
- Go to the National Resource Center website at https://nrcys.ou.edu/rft/training
- Under Online In-Service Training, click the link for Foster Parent College or Foster Care and Adoptive Community. You will need your foster care contract number, which you can obtain from your worker.
Important: You cannot be reimbursed if you enroll directly through the FCAC or Foster Parent College websites and pay for your training hours.
If there are any relevant trainings, events, or conferences offered through your community (church, place of employment, etc.), please check with your worker to see if these can be approved for training credit.
It is the goal of DHS Child Welfare Services to provide kinship, foster, and adoptive parents with the training and support needed to provide children and youth in their homes with care that meets their needs for safety, permanency, and well-being.
DHS has initiated, through its contract with the OU Outreach National Resource Center for Youth Services, the Oklahoma Kinship, Foster, and Adoptive Family Support Network. This Network of support groups provides in service training for resource parents, the development of communication channels with other resource families or DHS, and the organization of resources, including group sharing, printed materials, website information, and other available means.
Composition of each Network group is determined by the number and type of resource families in the community. The only requirement for membership in a Network Support group is that the person is an approved resource parent/family either by DHS, or by an agency or Tribe having a contract with DHS. Although most contracted agencies sponsor support group meetings with their contracted families, all resources parents from those contracted agencies are invited to attend a DHS Network support group in their area.
Network support groups are led by a resource parent facilitator who is trained and supported by the National Resource Center for Youth Services (NRCYS). Parents in attendance at a meeting earn two hours of in service training credits towards their required 12 hours per year. The in-service training is tailored to meet the unique needs of families in each specific Family Support Network group.
Books, Magazines, Articles
Note: The following are suggestions, and this list is not an all-Inclusive. If you have a book, Magazine, or Article that you would like to read for training credit, please check with your Resource specialist.
Highlighting the fascinating link between a child’s neurological development and the way a parent reacts to misbehavior, No-Drama Discipline provides an effective, compassionate road map for dealing with tantrums, tensions, and tears—without causing a scene.
In this practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling book Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson, demystify the meltdowns and aggravations, explaining the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures.
The Connected Child is a resource for adoptive parents of children who have experienced early deprivation or trauma. It teaches parents to become healers for their children.
The Kinship Parenting Toolbox contains articles from more than 70 contributors touched in a variety of ways by kinship care. This book is a resource for those working with and parenting their relative’s or family friend’s children, and includes topics such as getting organized, your financial toolbox, and finding support.
A practical, hands-on approach to parenting children in foster care, including topics such as transitions, loss, grief, and anger, and family impact.
The Power to Connect is a no-nonsense, insightful study of human communication that will arm the reader with keys to powerful communication skills. Learn how to get your message across in a clear, potent and effective way and see the dramatic improvement it can make in your life.
Completing the Circle describes how the school and the home can complete a cooperative circle in providing a mantle of warmth in support of children. Poplawski describes developmentally appropriate pictures of the growing child and explains the concepts behind many Waldorf pedagogical practices
Fostering Families Today is published bimonthly and contains information to help guide parents on their fostering journey.
Adoption Today is an 18-year-old award winning publication for the adoption community with a focus on the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of the adoptee and family.