Children who enter the State’s custody bring with them a wide range of social, emotional, and developmental issues. To help these children, parents must develop new skills and have at their disposal many resources and support services. The key to building the necessary skills is ongoing, flexible training in a wide variety of topics. Training programs at Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine evolve from month to month in accordance with the needs of the families we serve.
Below are some of the many training programs offered by AFFM. If you are interested in any of these programs provided by AFFM or have questions or suggestions about other types of training sessions then please contact AFFM.
AFFM holds an annual spring training conference in April. The conference provides training designed specifically for families looking for unique and advanced learning opportunities. It is also an opportunity to network with families and other providers from across the state. In addition to the conference, AFFM offers numerous training sessions for both large and small groups.
If you wish to register for an upcoming training please click here or on the registration button below to see a listing of the scheduled training sessions.
Adoption & Foster Nutrition
This training is designed to help families, through discussion, understand common nutritional deficiencies, how a doctor might diagnose them, why some dietary restrictions are medically necessary, and how to help overcome basic feeding challenges.
Adoption: What is Normal
“What is Normal” This training offers a discussion about adoption to prepare families for the unexpected. Join us and peers in the discussion to support one another through adoption to adulthood and beyond. This training will offer several resources and strategies to support families through this journey.
Allegation Prevention & Protocol
This training will assist families in asking “the right questions” prior to placement, provide helpful hints on what and when to document events, provide creative ways to prioritize and/or reduce conflicts between adults and children, provide a basic understanding of confidentiality rules, and the respecting and valuing of privacy. The training will also share the process of investigating an allegation in a foster home and what families can anticipate in terms of the process.
Assessing Attachment: A look at Attachment Theory and Emotional Coaching
Presented by Ruth Lyons, PhD
As a foster parent, one of the biggest gifts we give the children in our care is the guarantee of a caring adult in their life. Research suggests that failure to form secure attachments early in life can have a negative impact on behavior in later childhood and throughout life. This session will tackle how to navigate and assist children with attachment issues. In this session, participants will learn about Attachment Theory through the collective work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Together we will examine the importance of early emotional bonds and the different types of attachment. After taking an attachment test to identify our own attachment styles, participants will learn the five steps of emotional coaching techniques that can be used with any child. Participants will leave equipped with new learnings that can immediately be put to use.
Building Healthy Relationships
This training focuses on supporting healthy development, conversations, and relationships with young children to teenagers. During the 1 1/2 hour training participants will review the stages of typical child sexual development, identify red flags, and practice skills for starting conversations and answering difficult questions.
After this training participants will have a basic understanding of the court process and terms. Participants will feel more comfortable navigating the court when having this basic understanding of the process and terms used.
Day-to-Day living with children with prenatal substance exposure
AFFM partners with Foster Parent College (FPC) to provide innovative, research-based, interactive online courses for foster, adoptive, and kinship parents. FPC’s self-paced training is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. From the comfort of home, parents can enroll, complete a course, and receive a certificate of completion in a single session. The content is developed by nationally recognized experts in the fields of parenting, social work, pediatrics, psychology, psychiatry, and education. FPC courses are valued by foster care agencies and praised by caregivers. Families who reside in Maine can Sign up through AFFM for free by clicking this link.
In It For The Child
This training offers strategies for effective and objective communication and documentation to help establish an effective partnership with the child welfare system.
Mandated Reporter Training
All resource families are required to take the mandated reporter training when becoming licensed. They also need to renew this training every 4 years! Join us here for mandated reporter training and receive 2 training hours towards recertification! Mandated Reporters are a critical part of Maine’s child protection system and act as an early warning network to identify suspected child abuse and neglect; promptly enough to avoid serious and long-term damage to a child. Professionals who frequently encounter children in their work are in the best position to recognize and report suspected child abuse and neglect and are required by law to do so.
National Training and Development Curriculum (NTDC)
The National Training and Development Curriculum (NTDC) is a new curriculum that is based on research and input from experts, families who have experience with fostering or adopting children, and former foster and adoptive youth. It provides potential foster or adoptive parents with the information and tools needed to parent a child who has experienced trauma, separation, or loss. It is a state-of-the-art classroom and online program that helps to prepare prospective foster and adoptive parents to be successful parents. In addition, the NTDC gives parents access to information and resources needed to continue building skills once they have a child in their home. Learn more about the NTD
Parenting Life Skills
Participants will understand 12 key good parenting skills and how to implement them in real-life situations. The information helps participants navigate the confusing and overwhelming abundance of parenting advice out there.
The two most significant challenges children face are learning acceptable social behaviors and being able to control their own actions. And there lies the vital importance of taking time to teach and guide children in learning how to make effective choices and manage their own behavior over time. This can start as early as possible. This workshop will cover the definition of discipline along with the 7 principles of discipline which are introduced through group work and class discussion. These principles of discipline will give you tools to use at home.
Reasonable & Prudent Parenting
The Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard is defined as careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain a child’s health, safety, and best interest while at the same time encouraging the child’s emotional and developmental growth, that a caregiver must use when determining whether to allow a child in out-of-home placement under the responsibility of the state to participate in extracurricular, enrichment and social activities.
Resources for Success
This training will help provide an understanding of available resources foster, adoptive & kinship families in Maine can utilize.
Self-Care for Foster, Adoptive & Kinship Parents
After this training participants will be aware of what self-care really is and how participants can successfully implement self-care in their own daily lifestyles. The presentation will include ideas, and conversations on how we can all participate in self-care, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting and Maintaining Support Groups
This training will help individuals and small groups create and maintain a network of support in their community. The training will provide information on how to lead, grow, and maintain a support group. The training will help identify supports and resources for the group to utilize in order to be successful.
Understanding Safety and Awareness
Safety Training will start by providing participants with important reasons why safety is a subject that needs to be talked about, ending with ways to help reduce the risk of putting oneself in an unsafe situation. Participants will walk through safety planning in class as well as discuss tips to consider when providing supervised visits for children in and out of the home. General safety tips for everyday living are covered along with what to do if an incident or emergency occurs.
Understanding Boundaries as a Resource Parent
What Do We Mean By Maintaining Boundaries? A boundary is simply where one thing stops and another begins. We often mark boundaries with fences or lot lines or rivers or buildings. Personal boundaries are where one person’s physical and emotional being stops and another begins. Boundaries are important in foster care because so many children come from environments where their personal boundaries have been violated or disrespected (such as in abuse or neglect). In this training, we will discuss how to develop and maintain proper boundaries in your foster care journey.
Working With and Valuing Birth Family Connections
This workshop has an emphasis on finding commonalities that will encourage care providers to be strength-based in their approach. This class will also provide the opportunity to explore many options for being creative and positive about your children‘s contact and visitation and how all resource families can be a mentor and an important part in the success of these relationships.
Your Special Needs Child in the community
Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine Inc. & The Kinship Program Partners with a variety of other state and national organizations and trainers to bring caregivers an array of training topics, platforms, and delivery methods to help meet their training needs. Click on the link below for a list of virtual training opportunities offered free to families.
Free Online Training. Some are local, others are nationwide. This list is frequently updated.
Training Required for Licensed Families
Period of Purple Crying. Training for resource families who need to complete this training please click he
Infant Safe Sleep. For more information about a safe sleep environment.
Mandated Reporter Training. Resource families looking to take the Mandated Reporter training and test. This is required every 4 years as well as upon becoming a resource family.
Other Training around the state. Click here to see more information about upcoming training sessions.