We are excited to feature MN ADOPT, our partner in providing timely and relevant training opportunities to foster and adoptive parents. With frequent inquiries about foster parent training opportunities, one of the ways the MNCWTA supports training of foster parents is by funding the MN ADOPT FosterEd trainings described below. There are several new courses and upcoming opportunities MN ADOPT has developed to meet the needs of caregivers; notably all AdoptEd trainings are offered free in the month of April! All AdoptEd workshops are open to the public and listed here.

MN ADOPT 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 Manager for MN ADOPT, shares more information about their education and training opportunities below.

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The MN ADOPT 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. As a county or tribal worker, you can request a specific topic or speaker to present to professionals. All AdoptEd workshops are open to the public and listed here. During the month of April, all AdoptEd trainings are being offered for free.

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 13 FosterEd topics and will be adding 3 more this summer. The new topics include FASD, Children’s Mental Health, and Proud Choices/Sexual Education. MN ADOPT has collaborated with nearly every county and tribe in the state and we couldn’t be more excited about reaching families across Minnesota. If you need to know more about our FosterEd offerings, or have ideas for trainings or collaboration, please reach out to us at education@mnadopt.org.

Lastly, our Education Program offers pre-recorded webinars that are a great on-demand option for busy families and professionals.Visit our webinar library here. Under our FosterEd programming, Counties/Tribes have access to one free pre-recorded webinar a month. If you’re looking for more information about any of these offerings, please contact us anytime.

The MN ADOPT HELP Program is a warmline (612-746-5137 or HELP-program@mnadopt.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.

MN ADOPT 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 MN ADOPT’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, MN ADOPT will act on their behalf to facilitate the search request.

The MN ADOPT 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 MN ADOPT website (www.mnadopt.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.