FosterParentNet Info.
FPN Chat Rooms
FPN Resources
FPN Education
Related Links
Discussion Groups
Back To Main Resources Page

Q: 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.

Q: Why is FosterParentNet needed?
A: 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 their time.
  • 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?
It is important to have consensus on the rational for the group’s existence.

Q: What is an important element of group decision making?
Consensus! Consensus! Consensus!

Q: Are there different kinds of foster parent support groups?
A: Yes. There are three basic support group types

  1. 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.
  2. 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, fun…
  3. 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, conferences ...

Q: Do all groups need a formal business plan which includes a tax exempt status?
A: 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

Q: What are important things to consider when planning a meeting?
A: Where the meeting will be held; the date and time; the agenda; ground rules, and the meeting evaluation

Back to the top of the page
Back To Main Resources Page