Today my husband and I had in-home PRIDE training. I don’t think I will actually call it training, it was more an introduction to the PRIDE material and two movies, then lots of handbooks and homework. Both the movies involved more information on foster care than adoption, having themes on reunification and mentoring birth parents. All things to keep in mind with an open adoption but not everything was relevant for our situation. I figured it would focus on foster care themes like attachment and teamwork with birth parents, since there is a separate adoption training we will go through. The agency worker went over each section and the highlights. Then she gave us manuals for each section (there are seven) and there is homework for each section. I have gone through the first two sections and done the homework. I would like to complete all of them and the CPR training before the agency director comes back on June 5th. I think we can do it!
The first section was very interesting, and included many things I didn’t know about the history of foster care in America. It included information regarding how orphans were treated in the past, with cultural differences between extended families taking in kin versus white middle class children taken to orphanages. It is hard to believe that all of the laws and regulations that have come into place in America have only been within the last 100 years, and more specifically most of the laws used today have been within the last 40 years or so.
The second section focused on attachment and family structure, and the homework included filling out a genogram for each parent’s family, noting significant relationships throughout the extended family.
Most of the material in the PRIDE handbooks is several years old, including all of the dates and figures. So I don’t really want to quote any of those. The movies were even older, having been filmed in the 80s. The first movie had actors but the second movie was actual foster parents, birth parents, and children that were in foster care. It was pretty interesting to hear all of the sides and how much the birth parents can grow in the situation. It reinforced my idea that foster parents truly are a supreme gift.
I am interested to read into the next sections and get a feel for the rest of the material. I told the agency worker that I’ve been reading The Connected Child and her face was blank. She said she always recommends a book called Magic 123, which I will have to locate. She said it is also a movie in case you don’t want to read the book.