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Foster & Kinship Care Education Program

Contact us

(707) 476-4455



9:00am- 4:00pm

Summer  Hours: June & July Monday-Thursday
9:00am.- 4:00pm
(Closed Fridays)



Foster and Kinship Care Training

We invite you to join our Foster and Kinship Care Education Classes.

When you are:

  • Parenting a child placed in out-of-home care and you want to improve your parenting skills
  • Taking care of a relative's child
  • Taking care of a non-relative family friend's child
  • Needing to complete State mandated foster care education requirements
  • Interested in being a foster or adoptive parent


Pre-Service Classes:

RFA (Resource Family Approval) Training

This 12-hour training (Module 1, 2, 3 & 4) provides basic training required for those who wish to become a resource family provider. This program is a unified, family-friendly, and child-centered approval process. It will replace the existing processes for the procedures listed below by combining elements of all of them into a single approval standard:

  • Licensing of resource family homes;
  • Approval of relatives and non-relative extended family members as resource family providers or legal guardians; and
  • Approval of adoptive families.

Receive training and education on the following topics:

  • Accessing Health Services
  • Discovering Community Resources
  • Understanding Foster Care and the Child Welfare System
  • Appreciating Special Needs of Foster and Kinship Children

Additionally, RFA will provide greater support to relative and non-related extended family member caregivers, reduce placement moves and improve permanency processes for children and youth.

These classes meet on either Tuesdays and Thursdays or all day Saturday. Please check class calendars for specific dates. 

Module 1 Agenda:

  • Resource Family Approval Overview
  • Child Welfare & Probation Systems
  • Safety, Permanency & Well-being
  • Concurrent Planning & Types of Permanency
  • Visitation
  • Members of the Professional Team

Module 2 Agenda:

  • Developmental Needs of Children
  • Attachment & Regulation
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES)
  • Prudent Parent Standard
  • Mandated Reporting
  • Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI)

Module 3 Agenda:

  • Cultural Competence vs. Cultural Humility
  • Personal Rights of Children & You
  • Working with Bio Families
  • Punishment vs. Discipline
  • Managing Emotional & Behavioral Needs 

Module 4 Agenda:

  • Accessing Health Services
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Psychotropic Medication
  • Education Laws & Rights
  • Academic Success
  • Safety at School

Infants in Care
Infants in Care is a required pre-service class offered at College of the Redwoods for any resource parent who plans to care for an infant under the age of one year old. Often, many of the infants who come into the foster care system were exposed to addictive opiate drugs or alcohol while in the mother's womb. Babies who are exposed to opioids for prolonged periods in the womb are born with a physical addiction to the drug. During the Infants in Care class, a trained facilitator will provide in depth instruction on ways to care for an infant who was exposed to opiates in the womb and who may suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Some of the topics covered in the class for infants with NAS include: providing a quiet and calm environment for the infant, minimizing the environmental stimuli the infant is exposed to, swaying infant in your arms, and responding early to the infant's needs. In addition, the facilitator will also cover important topics such as caring for an infant born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), as well as caring for an infant born premature. This class is required if taking a placement of an infant under one year old. 

On-Going Foster Care Education

California State Law requires licensed resource families to complete 8 hours of annual foster care education, which fulfills the Humboldt & Del Norte Counties mandate for annual renewal of Resource Parents.  It is mandatory to take Module 2 each year to renew your license and the other 5 hours can be accrued through other FKCE classes or taken online through the Quality Parenting initiative website. Given that children are coming into the court system with greater histories of abuse and neglect than ever before, it has become more important than ever to develop excellent parenting skills, knowledge of the court system, and strong and on-going support systems.

In-Service Classes:

Adoption & Permanency
This class gives insight into adoption, guardianship and other permanency options for families caring for children through foster care.  It is meant for families that are thinking about becoming, in the process of, or already parents or guardians. The Trainers Alyssa Thom and Winona Aubrey 'Herzog have many years of experience as an adoptive liaisons, working with pre and post adoptive families, birth families, Kinship providers, and Tribal Customary Adoptions. This class if offered once a quarter and is highly recommended if adopting through Humboldt County or Del Norte CWS. 

ADHD 101 (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder): Gain a comprehensive understanding of ADHD and learn strategies for supporting foster children with this condition. Autism Spectrum Disorder/ Trying Differently Instead of Harder: Gain insights into autism spectrum disorder and discover alternative approaches to support children with autism. Learn about medication management for foster children, including understanding different medications, dosage, and monitoring their effects. Trainer Anne Rodriquez is an experienced social worker and FKCE trainer from Hartnell College, Ventura College, Cuesta College and more. 

CPR & First Aid

Learn how to take care of your loved ones or any others in need should an emergency, accident or injury occur. Learn how to save a life. The trainer will show you how to provide CPR, use an AED unit, help stop bleeding, basic arm slings, and other simple emergency tips. The FKCE Program will email certificates and Heart Saver workbooks, which are free to all participants. The certification for this class is good for 2 years. This class is offered once a month online. Trainer Amber Espinosa is an EMT with Cal Ore Life Flight.

Behavioral Health 101
Mental Health Toolkit for Resource Families is a training that will provide general overview and basic skills for resource families. Most children in foster care will at some point experience challenging and often scary behaviors that can greatly impact the success of being in their placement. This class will help the resource family learn some techniques that can help keep the child safe until the situation dissipates and/or until professional help can assist. Trainer Alyssa Thom is a licensed clinical social worker working as a mental health clinician for Humboldt County, Children and Family Services. She previously worked over 9 years as a Child Welfare social worker and supervisor

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Awareness Training

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children is a form of human trafficking happening around the world that occurs when an individual buys, trades or sells sexual acts with a child. In this workshop your will learn about State and Federal Laws, Local and National Statistics, Local Issues, Profile of a Trafficker/Pimp, and Cultural Contributors. This training is about raising awareness, recognizing the dynamics, identifying the vulnerabilities, and identifying CSEC warning signs. Most importantly, you will learn how foster and kinship home care intersects with CSEC. This class should be taken within 12 months AFTER RFA approval. 

Caregiver Self-care
Being a caregiver is stressful and we may often feel as though we do not have time for self-care. But what really is self-care? Is it bubble baths and alone time? Or is it something more? And why is it so important anyway? In this webinar, we will discuss ways to identify trauma and secondary trauma and why this matters. We will define "self-care" and learn new ways you can care for yourself, some of which can be shared with the kids in your life. We will also discuss self-regulation and co-regulation. This webinar is useful for all RFA parents and anyone else who wants to better understand how we can improve relationships by taking better care of ourselves.

CWS 101 (Humboldt County)
Humboldt County Child Welfare Services 101 will consist of an overview of the role and mandates of Child welfare. This will include mandated reporting, defining child abuse according to the law and the various programs involved in the process. We will examine the process of intake through permanency along with data specific to Humboldt County Child Welfare. There will be a question and answer session along with relevant contact and referral information. Trainer Cherie' VonSavoye is a Program Manager II employed with Humboldt Child Welfare Services. 

Grief & Loss
This workshop gives participants an opportunity to discuss feelings of grief and loss associated with being an ambassador for the children that are/will be part of your home. Grief and loss is multi-dimensional and we will explore how it impacts you, your family, and the children you get to care for. Our time together will  consist of information, activities, and discussion designed to provide you tools and tips to assist you through the process. Trainer Cherie' VonSavoye is a Program Manager II employed with Humboldt Child Welfare Services. 

ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act)
Tribal children and families have special legal protection when involved in the child welfare system. This training will focus on ICWA for caregivers, helping caregivers understand the history and importance of the Indian Child Welfare Act and caregiver responsibilities to keep tribal children connected to their extended family, tribal community and tribal culture.  Trainers come from the California Tribal Families Coalition.

Our Nervous System, Trauma & Attachment
This class focuses on trauma and attachment; what it is and how it forms, as well as the difference between normal and abnormal attachment.  Attachment disorders are examined, and participants are provided with tools for dealing with issues surrounding attachment. The trainer will also discuss and describe the behaviors experienced by children taken into care and how best to deal with those behaviors. We will also focus on identifying motivations for behaviors and directing children toward more positive ways of getting emotional needs met. Trainer Deb Gee is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in private practice.

Positive Parenting
Enhance communication skills and explore positive parenting techniques to foster healthy relationships with foster children. Gain insights into effective discipline strategies specifically tailored for children who have experienced trauma. Develop empathic listening skills to better understand and support the emotional needs of foster children. Trainer Anne Rodriquez is an experienced social worker and FKCE trainer from Hartnell College, Ventura College, Cuesta College and more. 

Teens 101
Caregiving for adolescents, teens, and young adults can be complicated and challenging. This class will give caregivers education on teen development and how trauma impacts their functioning and wellbeing.  The class will give practical tools and strategies to help improve relationships and create more harmony in the home. Trainer Cherie' VonSavoye is a Program Manager II employed with Humboldt Child Welfare Services. 

Turning Dreams Into Degrees
This training is for caregivers of youth ages 6th-10th grade.  You will learn about the following; the benefits of postsecondary education, unique barriers foster youth face in education, strategies to create a college-going culture in the home, different certificate & program pathways , resources and strategies to help students explore their career interests and achieve their postsecondary education goals, and student services programs available at College of the Redwoods. Trainer Irene Gonzalez is the Interim Assistant Director of Student Equity at CR.   

This "Visitation" class will focus on the key elements and mandates of parent child visitation through the child welfare system and best practice for developing visitation plans, including child and family team meetings. Consistent, frequent visitation improves children's emotional health and behavior, improves attachment, reduces the negative impact of removal on children, and helps children adjust to foster care and maintain a healthy, realistic view of themselves and their parent. Visitation is often referred to as the "heart of reunification" and we will be exploring the rationale behind this and the mechanism child welfare utilizes to attend to this important aspect of foster children's lives. Trainer Cherie' VonSavoye is a Program Manager II employed with Humboldt Child Welfare Services. 

Other Special Training

The community college Foster & Kinship Care Education Program annually offers classes on a variety of topics, including:

  • Cultural diversity and sensitivity
  • Accessing education and health services
  • Medically fragile infants and children
  • Self-esteem enhancement
  • Understanding and working with the court system
  • Basic child development
  • Adoption and concurrent planning issues
  • Special issues as needed

Refer to the class calendars for specific dates of these trainings.

  2023 College of the Redwoods