We are excited to feature Foster Adopt Minnesota (FAM), our partner in providing timely and relevant training opportunities to kinship, foster, and adoptive parents. MNCWTA supports training of foster parents by funding the FAM FosterEd trainings described below. There are several new courses and upcoming opportunities FAM has developed to meet the needs of caregivers. You can view free FosterEd and AdoptEd workshops here: fosteradoptmn.org/workshops.
FAM serves adoptive, kinship, and foster families by providing information, resources, education, public awareness, and support in an effort to find stable and permanent homes for Minnesota’s Waiting Children. Stephanie Regnier, Education Program Director for FAM, shares more information about their educational opportunities below.
The Foster Adopt Minnesota (FAM) Education Program supports the Minnesota foster care and adoption community by providing expert educational opportunities specific to parenting, foster care, and adoption. By engaging in these workshops, adoptive, kinship and foster families are provided the information and guidance needed to help address specific needs and gain the confidence to address challenges in an informed, healing way. The Education Program offers two different types of live workshops. First, AdoptEd trainings are for adoptive, foster, kinship families, and professionals. Second, we offer FosterEd trainings that are specifically formatted for foster parents and funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). We currently offer a large variety of FosterEd topics including FASD, Children’s Mental Health, Race & Culture, Birth Family Connections, and Proud Choices/Sexual Education. You can view and register for both AdoptEd and FosterEd trainings on our site: fosteradoptmn.org/workshops.
Our Education Program also offers pre-recorded webinars and free podcasts that are a great on-demand option for busy families and professionals. Visit our webinar library here and our podcast library here. Under our FosterEd programming, Counties/Tribes have access to two free pre-recorded webinars per month that they share with licensed families. If you’re looking for more information about any of these offerings, please contact us anytime.
The FAM HELP Program is a warmline (612-746-5137 or HELPfirstname.lastname@example.org) for Minnesota’s adoption, foster and kinship caregiving communities that provides free, easily accessible, reliable, and knowledgeable post-placement support. HELP Specialists provide individualized support to caregivers and professionals through their deep understanding of core adoption issues, developmental trauma, attachment patterns, grief and loss, parenting needs, and post placement concerns. Through this service, caregivers can access a vetted statewide network of therapists who specialize in adoptive issues, including financial assistance for eligible therapeutic services and educational offerings, and appropriate referrals for various community resources to fit their needs. Learn more here.
FAM Post Adoption Search Services provides information and referral to adopted persons, birth families and adoptive families who have questions about the search process, are seeking to begin the search process, or who are in need of records. Those interested in beginning a search process or needing records can utilize FAM’s online search form to be connected to the responsible county, agency, or tribe that will be able to further assist them with their request. When DHS is the responsible placement agency, FAM will act on their behalf to facilitate the search request.
The FAM’s Zero Kids Waiting (ZKW) Program is the gateway to information about adoption and foster care in Minnesota. Our goal is to provide awareness, information, referral, and outreach to connect children who are in foster care to foster and adoptive families. The FAM website (www.fosteradoptmn.org) provides information and resources for prospective and current foster, kinship, and adoptive families, as well as members of the broader adoption community.
The ZKW Program oversees the State Adoption Exchange, which connects Minnesota children under State Guardianship with adoptive families. The foundation of the State Adoption Exchange is the Meet the Kids section of our website, which features children who are in foster care and in need of adoptive families. Some examples of our outreach activities include a monthly Waiting Child feature in several different newspapers throughout the state, Kid Connection features on KSTP’s Twin Cities Live, and participating in or hosting public events throughout the year that bring attention to the need for families for children who are in foster care.
We also provide guidance on becoming child foster care providers through the ZKW Fostering Network. Interested providers can utilize our online inquiry platform to learn about the licensing options in their area as well as enter information about themselves into a secure database to have the information sent automatically to the agencies of their choice. The agencies will follow-up directly with the families to provide more specific information on their program(s) and next steps.