National: Training and Development Initiative for Foster/Adoptive Parents

“THE PURPOSE of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to award one cooperative agreement to an organization 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. This is intended to be a product that could be utilized free of charge by all states, tribes, and territories and consistently applied wherever implemented. Development of this program would include research on the common characteristics of 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 developmental, training, and capacity needs of individuals/families that are interested in becoming foster parents, as well as those who would be interested in fostering with the intention to adopt. Many basic concepts would be in common for foster and adoptive parents, however, there would be particular focus for foster parents on working with birth parents around reunification efforts and for adoptive parents 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 training competencies upon which the training will be based and a preliminary selection of 6-8 pilot sites in which the curriculum will be implemented and tested. YEARS 2-5 would include the development of the curriculum from the basic competencies; implementation and testing of the curriculum in the pilot sites; refining the curriculum based on the pilot site experience; making the curriculum available to all States, Tribes, and Territories; and assisting them with integrating it into their training systems. An evaluation of the impact of the new intensive training curriculum would also be conducted. 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 who will be equipped to meet the current needs of children/youth in the foster care system as well as those in private domestic and international adoptive families; and improved outcomes for children/youth in foster/adoptive families with improved capacity to meet their needs. It is anticipated that INITIAL YEAR FUNDING CEILING will be $700,000 and each subsequent year funding ceiling will be $2,000,000.”

Excerpted from posting HHS-2017-ACF-ACYF-CO-1266 on

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