Parents as Tender Healers (PATH)
There are many steps to prepare for your role as a foster parent. Our goal is to provide you with the most up to date parenting methods and the effective tools to work with and guide the foster children who are welcomed into your family. We also want to provide you with the understanding of the different challenges faced by children who come into state custody.
Through the pre-approval training Parents as Tender Healers (PATH), you will learn how foster parents work with Monroe Harding and Department of Children Services to improve the lives of children and information about current DCS policies on caring for children in custody.
Whether you want to provide a temporary home for children in need or have the ultimate goal of adoption, PATH training will help prepare you for the unique challenges and rewards of becoming a foster parent.
The PATH Training Program is designed to offer learning opportunities that support adoptive, foster and kinship parents in their effort to provide a safe, nurturing, and loving environment for the children in their care.
PATH Training Objectives:
- To give foster parents the information needed to handle routine matters, such as medical and psychological care, clothing needs, education, and visitation with the child’s birth family.
- To provide skills needed to handle problems as they arise.
- To develop problem solving and teamwork skills.
- To teach foster parents the required ethical and legal standards for compliance.
- To assist foster parents in anticipating the negative, critical, or distrustful attitudes that foster children often exhibit.
- To identify elements of the foster child’s behavior that can be attributed to the experience of being in foster care.
- To share with prospective foster parents the experiences of veteran foster parents with particular emphasis on building positive relationships with birth families and Monroe Harding staff.
Completion of the PATH curriculum is required for all families who desire to become approved foster, adoptive, or kinship parents with the State of Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services.
Anyone residing in the home that is 18 years of age or older must attend the PATH classes if they will have a role in parenting.
Orientations for Foster Parents- There are many questions to be answered as a family decides to open their home and hearts to foster youth. Examples of some of the detailed information include how children come into care, reunification, and characteristics of successful Foster Parent.
Understanding the Child Welfare System- The majority of children in care have contact with their biological family and reunification is the primary goal. Share parenting is introduced as the family will be working with Birth Parents, Department of Children’s Services, and Monroe Harding. The Foster parents “Bill of Rights” are explained.
Impacts of Trauma on Children- Children enter foster care thru a variety of reasons. The nuances between these differences are discussed in how it relates to the children’s needs. How to deal with survival behaviors expressed by the youth, and ways to start viewing them as a healing process is introduced. Attachment, grief and loss are also talked about in detail from all those involved perspectives, including the foster family.
Effective Discipline- A child that has experienced Trauma need discipline techniques that allow them to feel included and safe. Tools and Techniques are taught to allow parents a guide on creating a stable and healing environment that meets all standards required.
Cultural Awareness- Cultural, Ethnicity and Race are defined and discussed in relation to foster care as the youth is introduced to a new family experience. We discuss things to do prior to and after a placement to create an awareness to the differences experienced by the youth childhood.
Expert Panel- Current experienced Foster Parents and Monroe Harding support staff host an information session. You are able to ask questions and hear firsthand how the families are changed by the experience of opening their homes.
Medication Administration- All medical and behavioral health services are explained along with the role that the foster family plays in making sure that everything runs smoothly and meets all required standards
Trauma Informed Parenting Strategies Part 1 and Part 2- Identify the significance of implementing Trauma Informed Parenting Strategies and understanding the role trauma plays in the lives of foster youth. We examine how the brain development is affected by trauma and how it causes adolescents to behave differently. We will provide tools to help successfully manage behaviors and create a thriving environment.