What is FosterParentNet?
A: The Mission of FosterParentNet is to strengthen the network
of support for and between foster parents, and to positively
impact foster parent retention as well as the lives of children
in their care.
Why is FosterParentNet needed?
Foster parents often find it difficult to reap the
benefits of support groups because:
- General parenting groups don’t address the needs
and concerns of foster parents.
- Groups may not be available at convenient times and locations.
- Poorly facilitated groups do not make the best use of
- Confidentiality issues prohibit foster parents from talking
freely in group settings.
- No one understands like another foster parent “who
has been there.”
Support groups are an excellent way to address the emotional,
educational, and networking needs of those who foster children
in their homes. The challenges involved in caring for children
in out-of-home placements can be multi-level and complex.
Burnout and stress often contribute to a foster parent’s
decision to discontinue care. A strong circle of support can
be a determining factor in foster parent retention.
Q: What are
the benefits of foster parent support groups?
A: The benefits
of foster parent support groups are as follows:
- Lessen feelings of isolation
- Provide opportunities to make new friends
- Validates, “I know I am not crazy or bad because
others have the same problems.”
- Creates opportunities to mentor others or receive mentorship
- Unites foster parents with others for a common goal
- Provides education, resources, and networking
- Is fun
Q: Why is it
important to have a group purpose or mission statement?
A: It is important
to have consensus on the rational for the group’s existence.
Q: What is
an important element of group decision making?
Are there different kinds of foster parent support
Yes. There are three basic support group types
- Local support groups
which could be agency or community based groups. The purposes
of these groups are emotional support, socialization, networking,
retention, education and fun.
- Intermediate/Regional groups
the purposes of these groups are to unite foster parents
in a given locality, advocacy, education, support of local
groups, lobbying, fundraising, public awareness, socialization,
- State or National Foster
Parent Association The purpose of these
groups is to unify foster parents on a state or national
level, advocacy, development of support groups at the local
and state levels, research and program development,
Do all groups need a formal business plan which includes
a tax exempt status?
It depends on the purpose of the group. For instance if your
group has decided to be a small informal gathering of foster
parents in a member’s home and you have no intentions
of fundraising. You do not need a formal business structure.
However if you have goals to solicit grant awards and conduct
fundraising activities you will need to obtain a 501(c )3
non profit status
What are important things to consider when planning
Where the meeting will be held; the date and time; the agenda;
ground rules, and the meeting evaluation