It’s no secret…all transformation, growth, and development happens best within a positive ongoing relationship! The Foster Parent Mentor Program, in cooperation with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, links the State’s newly approved Foster Parents with a trained Mentor for their first six months of service to bolster confidence and satisfaction as they adjust to their new roles and responsibilities.
The Foster Parent Mentor Program specializes in one-on-one, short-term, intensive coaching relationships, which provide newly approved Foster Parents emotional encouragement, skill reinforcement, and parenting strategies unique to providing out-of-home care so as to enhance the quality of care provided and stabilize initial placements.
- Retain newly approved Foster Parents by providing short-term and intensive coaching, training, support, encouragement, and skill reinforcement.
- Equip newly approved Foster Parents with a wide variety of parenting strategies unique to providing out-of-home care.
- Prevent, when possible, any unnecessary disruptions and transitions due to stress and discouragement.
- Assist newly approved Foster Parents in applying skills that make their experience both satisfying and successful.
- Match newly approved Foster Parents with veteran Foster Parents in a one-on-one coaching relationship for their first six months service
- Through mentors provide information about resources unique to the area
- Through mentors provide assistance in practicing skills learned during the initial training experience
- Through mentors provide information about how to work within the child welfare system
- Require mentors to sign a pledge of confidentiality
- Require mentors to make weekly contact
- Require mentors to be available by phone for any "as needed" support
- Encourage mentees to be willing and active learners.
- Train mentors through initial orientation and quarterly workshops
- Match new foster families with foster parent mentors based on location, cultural or ethnic issues, interest in similar types of children in care, and other pertinent factors
- Ensure monthly accountability of mentors
- Evaluate program effectiveness
Parents interested in serving as a mentor should contact one of the Program Directors below and meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Must be recommended by regional Recruitment and Certification staff
- Have had no disciplinary action within the last year
- Possess a minimum of one year of experience as a foster/adoptive parent with the Department for Community Based Services
If you are currently approved by the Department for Community Based Services to serve as a Foster Parent, you are eligible to receive mentoring support services. Please contact the Program Director to express your interest.