FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC)

About This Program

Target Population: Resource parents (foster, adoptive, and kinship) of children ages 0-18; can be used by social workers and other professionals who are new to working directly with resource parents

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 18

Program Overview

FPC is an online training venue for foster, adoptive, and kinship parents. Interactive multimedia courses offered 24/7 through the site provide both pre-service and in-service training on clinical aspects of and parent interventions for children’s behavior problems. Instructional content is based on social learning theory and attachment theory. As of March 2020, there are 68 self-paced FPC courses available online, as a DVD, or both: 10 pre-service and 37 in-service training courses, 14 courses translated into Spanish, and 7 Advanced Parenting Workshops. The workshops provide in-depth training on specific behavioral and emotional problems. Most FPC courses can be taken individually via computer or in groups using a DVD with public performance rights. The Advanced Parenting Workshops are self-driven and include a discussion board and individualized assignments. A recently formed partnership with Child Welfare League of America integrates FPC pre-service courses within the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) New Generation of PRIDE Model of Practice.

Program Goals

The goals of FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC) are:

  • Learn how to address specific parenting and behavioral challenges through electronic media
  • Become more confident in handling problem behaviors
  • Change attitudes toward the children in their care to become more positive
  • Learn how to help children reach their full potential
  • Keep children in their care for longer by providing a more stable placement
  • Remain foster parent caregivers for the children in their care who are challenging
  • Develop a common, strength-based language to communicate with others in the field
  • Able to learn the same lessons in Spanish

Essential Components

The essential components of FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC) include:

  • Individual, self-paced courses available 24/7 on FPC:
    • Interactive and engaging, using an audiovisual multimedia learning format
    • Taught by child welfare professionals who are acknowledged as leaders in their fields 
    • Include a summary, a review questionnaire with interactive responses and a teaching component at the end, and a certificate of completion; most include supplementary printable handouts
    • Agency management system (no cost) to register parents, monitor progress and obtain global activity reports
    • Available for pre-service training, or in-service on either specific behavioral and emotional problems or parenting strategies
  • Pre-service training:
    • FPC online pre-service courses are available in English and Spanish on the following 10 topics:
      • The Child Welfare Team
      • Child Abuse and Neglect
      • Parent-Child Attachment
      • Understanding Behavior in Foster Children
      • Child Development
      • Cultural Issues in Parenting
      • Working Together with Primary Families
      • Caring for Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused
      • Reducing Family Stress
      • Foster Care to Adoption
  • In-service training:
    • In-service training is available as topic-specific survey courses or a higher level of training in the Advanced Parenting Workshop series.
      • In-service Training: Behavioral and emotional problems topics include:
        • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder/attention-deficit disorder/oppositional defiant disorder (ADHD/ADD/ODD)
        • Anger
        • Anxiety disorders
        • Autism
        • Eating disorders
        • Fire-setting
        • Lying
        • Noncompliance
        • Reactive attachment disorder (RAD)
        • Running away
        • Sleep problems
        • Stealing
        • Trauma-informed parenting
        • Wetting and soiling
      • In-service Training: Parenting strategies topics include:
        • Safe parenting
        • Positive parenting
        • Resource parents’ marriage relationships
        • Working with schools and birth parents
        • House safety
        • Child safety and supervision
        • The foster home investigation process
        • Kinship care
        • Culturally competent parenting
        • Grief and loss in the care system
        • The impact of fostering on birth children
        • The role of mandated child abuse reporters
        • Substance-exposed infants
        • Children entering care: mental health issues
        • Understanding sex trafficking
  • Some in-service courses are available for purchase on DVD and include:
    • The DVD, providing 30-40 minutes of interactive multimedia material
    • A Viewer’s Guide
    • A print copy of the same review questionnaire included at the end of each online course, along with an answer key (the questionnaires can be duplicated for courses taught in a group setting)
  • Each Advanced Parenting Workshop on FPC:
    • Addresses a specific, difficult child behavior or parenting challenge; topics include:
      • Anger
      • Lying
      • Taking things without permission
      • Understanding noncompliance
      • Self-injury
      • Social and physical aggression
      • Problematic sexual behaviors
    • Involves collaboration with others via a discussion board to solve the particular behavior problem
    • Includes individualized assignments
    • Is available 24/7 and can be started at any time
  • New social service field workers are welcome to take the trainings so they can be taught how to:
    • Develop a better understanding of the issues facing resource parents
    • Use a strength-based language

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Parents of children with behavior problems or emotional disorders, including: trauma aftereffects, anger, stealing, running away, wetting and soiling, sexualized behavior, sleep problems, lying, fire-setting, eating disorders, self-harm, reactive attention disorder (RAD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention-deficit disorder (ADD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), childhood anxiety disorders, noncompliance, and children with autism

Recommended Intensity:

The average time it takes to complete an individual self-paced course, including completion of interactive exercises, reading handouts, and completing a review questionnaire, is 1-2 hours. The average time it takes to complete an Advanced Parenting Workshop, including completion of interactive exercises and homework assignments, reading handouts, and completing the review questionnaire, is 6-10 hours.

Recommended Duration:

Each self-paced course can be completed in 1-2 hours; Advanced Parenting Workshops take from 4-6 hours to complete. Courses need not be completed in one session, but most people complete them in 1 or 2 days. Once begun, self-paced courses and Advanced Parenting Workshops are available to individuals for 30 days.

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Telehealth (Online, Telephone, Video, etc.)

Homework

FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC) includes a homework component:

Individuals taking self-paced courses are expected to complete online interactive exercises and read printable handouts on the website. Advanced Parenting Workshop participants are expected to complete up to 9 homework assignments and participate in the discussion board.

Languages

FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC) has materials available in a language other than English:

Spanish

For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Individuals taking either the self-paced online courses or the Advanced Parenting Workshops need a computer with high-speed Internet access and audio speakers. For agencies using the DVD version of the self-paced courses in a group setting, a single instructor or facilitator is needed, along with seating capacity for participants, a DVD player, and a large enough screen to be seen by everyone in the group.

Other options for viewing include using a projector from a laptop, or having individual laptops for everyone in the group. DVDs are also used in a lending library situation, requiring the parents to have access to a DVD player.

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Practitioners accessing the online courses need to have minimal computer skills. When agencies use the course material in a group setting, the course facilitators need training and/or experience in social work or counseling with foster, adoptive, and kinship families. To present the DVD version of a course, there are no minimum qualifications, although group instructional skills are desirable.

Education and Training Resources

There is not a manual that describes how to deliver this program; but there is training available for this program.

Training Contacts:
Training is obtained:

Initial basic training support is done by phone and computer during business hours. Regular staff training webinars are provided at no cost for the online management system of FPC.

Number of days/hours:

One hour to learn the management system

Additional Resources:

There currently are additional qualified resources for training:

Northwest Media staff people can be contacted for basic training.

There are also scheduled one-hour webinars that provide training for agencies on using the site’s management system.

Generally, agencies assign an employee to become a trainer for the website and provide in-agency training to other staff and support parents.

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are no pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC).

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC) as listed below:

FPC provides individual agency and parent support throughout the use of the website. FPC provides video or written help to the agency during the initial implementation period with agency management configuration. Additionally, promotional materials for staff and parents are provided. FPC provides scheduled webinars for staff training purposes for new staff members and website updates.

Fidelity Measures

There are no fidelity measures for FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC).

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC) as listed below:

Support information is embedded throughout the website and courses to guide parents and staff through the process of viewing the training. The FPC training is self-paced and automated for the parents to progress through the courses on their own.

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC).

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Pacifici, C., Delaney, R., White, L., Cummings, K., & Nelson, C. (2005). Foster Parent College: Interactive multimedia training for foster parents. Social Work Research, 29(4), 243-251.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 74 parents

Population:

  • Age — Parents: Mean=46 years, Children: Mean=10 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 80% White, 20% Other than White
  • Gender — Parents: 92% Female, Children: 57% Male
  • Status — Participants were foster parents currently providing care, recruited from foster parenting associations.

Location/Institution: U.S.

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a DVD course [now called FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC)]. Participants were randomly assigned to FPC or to a control group. Measures utilized include a questionnaire on parenting knowledge and on parents’ self-perceptions regarding their children’s angry outbursts. Results showed higher performance scores in knowledge and perception for the FPC group. Limitations included lack of validated measures, small sample size, and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Pacifici, C., Delany, R., White, L., Nelson, C., & Cummings, K. (2006). Web-based training for foster, adoptive and kinship parents. Children and Youth Services Review, 28, 1329-1343. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2006.02.003

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 97 parents

Population:

  • Age — Parent: Mean=47.84 years, Child: Mean=7.76 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 75.3% White or Hispanic, 10.3% African American, 2.1% American Indian, 5.2% Asian or multiracial, 6.2% Other, and 1.0% Unknown
  • Gender — Parents: 69% Female; Children: 47% Female
  • Status — Participants were foster parents recruited through a community college training program.

Location/Institution: California

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC) on lying and sexualized behavior. Participants were randomly assigned to receive FPC or to a control group. Measures utilized assessed knowledge and parent self-perceptions regarding lying and sexualized behavior. Results indicate that parent knowledge on both topics was significantly greater for the intervention groups than for the control group parents who had not yet received that course content. Parents in the intervention group on lying also scored higher on the perception test than did the control group. Groups did not differ on perception scores for sexualized behavior. Limitations of the current study lack of validated measures, small sample size, and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Delaney, R., Nelson C., Pacifici, C., White, L., & Smalley, B. K. (2012). Web-enhanced pre-service training for prospective resource parents: A randomized trial of effectiveness and user satisfaction. Journal of Social Service Research, 38(4), 503-514. https://doi.org/10.1080/01488376.2012.696416

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 92

Population:

  • Age — Mean=38.6 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 89% White, 7% Black or African American, 10% Hispanic or Latino, and 4% Biracial
  • Gender — 60% Female
  • Status — Participants were prospective foster, kinship, and adoptive parents.

Location/Institution: Utah and Wisconsin

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study compares the effectiveness of online and classroom versions of one session from a preservice training program [FosterParentCollege.com®(FPC)]. Individuals enrolled in the program in two states viewed an online version of the class on child abuse and neglect or took the same class in person. Written questionnaires were completed before and after the class. Measures utilized include the Knowledge of Child Abuse and Neglect (KCAN), Empathy & Perspective Questionnaire, and the User Satisfaction Questionnaire. Results showed the online training was more effective than the live training at increasing knowledge. Results on empathy were not significant but trended toward greater empathy for the online group. Feedback indicated high satisfaction with the online course. Limitations include lack of follow-up and parent or child behavioral outcomes measures.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

White, L., Delaney, R., Pacifici, C., Nelson, C., Dickinson, S. L., & Golzarri-Arroyo, L. (2019). Understanding and parenting children's noncompliant behavior: The efficacy of an online training workshop for resource parents. Children and Youth Services Review, 99, 246-256. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.01.045

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 82

Population:

  • Age — Mean=42.9 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 70.7% White, 12.2% Black or African American, 2.4% American Indian or Alaska Native, 2.4% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 12.2% Multiracial
  • Gender — 82.9% Female and 17.1% Male
  • Status — Participants were foster, kinship, and adoptive parents.

Location/Institution: Not Specified

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The current study examined the effectiveness of FosterParentCollege.com on parenting children's noncompliant behavior. Participants were randomly assigned to a treatment or waitlist control group. Measures utilized include the Practice-Plus Parenting Questionnaire (PPPQ), Parent Report, and the User Satisfaction Questionnaire. Results indicated that group differences at posttest were significant for parents' reports of children's positive behavior and parent knowledge related to children's noncompliant behavior. Only parents in the treatment group showed significant improvement from pretest to posttest on several other outcome measures of parenting noncompliant behavior. Satisfaction with the online workshop at posttest was very high. Results at the 3-month follow-up assessment showed significant group differences only for parents' knowledge about children's noncompliant behavior. Feedback on the workshop remained positive, with treatment group parents indicating that they felt the workshop had beneficially impacted their parenting and their children's behavior. Limitations include small participant size, reliance on self-reported measures, and length of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 3 months.

The following studies were not included in rating FPC on the Scientific Rating Scale...

White, L., Delaney, R., Pacifici, C., Nelson, C., Whitkin, J., Lovejoy, M., & Smalley, B. K. (2016). Efficacy of blended preservice training for resource parents. Child Welfare, 93(6), 45-72.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate a new way of meeting the growing demand for training prospective resource parents. Participants were randomized to either a treatment group that received a modified Blended version of the FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC) training (4 in-person sessions and 10 online courses) or a comparison group that received the state standard in-person Foundations training. Measures include questionnaires that assessed knowledge awareness, user satisfaction with overall training and usability satisfaction with online training. Results indicate significantly greater gains in knowledge for the blended approach over the classroom-only approach. The blended approach also produced a dramatically lower dropout rate during preservice training. Both groups made significant gains in parenting awareness from pretest to posttest, but those gains were greater for the classroom-only approach. Satisfaction with training was comparably high for both groups. Gains in knowledge and awareness were sustained at a 3-month follow-up assessment for both groups. Limitations include that randomization was not used for all subjects, due to dropout in the comparison group. In addition, the sample was more homogeneous and less representative of the national population than expected; in particular, African Americans and Hispanics were underrepresented. The psychometric properties of the measures utilized were limited. Finally, due to the blending of online and in-person sessions, this study cannot be used for the rating of the standard version of FPC, which consists of solely on-line courses.

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for FosterParentCollege.com® (FPC).

Contact Information

Lee White
Title: CEO & President
Agency/Affiliation: Northwest Media, Inc.
Website: www.FosterParentCollege.com
Email:
Phone: (541) 343-6636 x102
Fax: (541) 343-0177

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: April 2019

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2020

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2009