Foster Parent Training
The Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter is eager to support foster families throughout our area.
In fact, many of these families now care for and support the children we’ve come to know personally. The NWACS aims to support foster families by providing the following:
- Trauma-informed trainings at no cost
- Trainings in a variety of locations in Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington counties
- Snacks and drinks (and meals when possible) to ensure a comfortable experience
- Certificates of completion to foster parents for continuing education credits
- Availability for contact after the date of the training for additional support and transfer of learning
The NWACS wants to ensure that families feel equipped to understand and meet the needs of children and adolescents who have experienced maltreatment, multiple placements and early trauma. We’ll also use the feedback we receive from foster families to ensure topics they request are included in future events.
Upcoming Training Opportunities
Vicarious Trauma: Parenting Hurt Children
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
6:30 – 8:00 pm
Southern Heights Baptist Church
Thursday, June 13, 2019
6:30 – 8:00 pm
Northwest Assembly – Farmington Campus
Due to the maltreatment and ongoing losses experienced by children in foster care, foster and adoptive parents not only have a front row to trauma, but they experience trauma themselves. They see (and may be the target of) complex and challenging behaviors. They hear descriptions of maltreatment. They may even experience significant disruptions to their own sleep, work and family life. Ultimately, they too experience repeated losses when children they care for leave.
Foster parents sometimes report not appreciating the impact on themselves until a child leaves, of feeling blamed (or even self-blame) if a placement breaks down, and of not having enough physical and emotional space and time left for self-care. The support networks when they started fostering may have also changed over time, leaving them feeling unsupported, misunderstood or judged.
The purpose of this training is to help parents understand vicarious trauma, to help plan for experiences that challenge them most and to know what can help them avoid feeling overwhelmed by feelings of frustration and sadness when caring for kids “from hard places.”
Attachment as Regulation
Monday, June 17, 2019
6:00 – 8:00 pm
First United Methodist Church – Downtown Springdale
Attachment is a two-way process: not only can it be difficult for a child to connect with an adult who might seem difficult to trust (based on previous experiences with adults), but a parent may also struggle to connect with a child when the care he or she offers is rejected or when the situation is just overwhelming. How a parent responds based on their own history might even keep a child disconnected.
Attachment is a connecting relationship, but it is also a regulatory relationship. A healthy, regulated parent provides a strong foundation for the development of a child’s own emotional regulatory system. However, for most children entering foster care, these repeated positive, nurturing experiences were not available or were inconsistent, so regulating their own emotions and behaviors will remain difficult until a connected and regulated adult shows them how.
The purpose of this training is to help parents interpret and nurture the unmet emotional needs driving some behaviors, to emphasize the regulation of a parent to decrease the stress in a child, and to provide ideas to help increase connection.
Each training session will include childcare, but availability is limited. Please include the children’s ages in the registration form. When registering below, please also ensure that you select the correct location/date.
Please register for each training at least 7 days in advance.
If fewer than 10 participants are registered 7 days in advance, all who have registered for that location will be notified that the training will be moved to an alternate date. For questions or additional information, contact Adam Martin at (479) 795-2417 ext 303 or email@example.com.