This memo outlines the necessary components of competency based pre-service training. A successful application will result in Title IV-E reimbursement for agencies.
As you are all aware, comprehensive, competency based training is critical to recruiting, supporting and retaining quality foster parents. In 1997, the Foster Parent Advisory Group report "Supporting Foster Families as Team Members Serving Children and Their Families" highlighted the need for pre-service as well as ongoing culturally competent, skill-based training for Wisconsinís foster parents. This training strategy not only enhances our foster parentsí knowledge and comfort in their role; it promotes better outcomes for children in out-of-home care.
The Division provided funding to counties in the Western region of the state in 2001 to pilot competency based, pre-service foster parent training. The curriculum utilized was developed by the Institute of Human Services and is based on the same competencies, knowledge and practice principles taught to child welfare staff through Core training provided by the UW Training Partnerships. While the Division is not endorsing the use of a specific training curriculum, through this pilot we learned that specific strategies are critical to successful pre-service foster parent training. The comprehensive IHS training model provides foster parents and the agency with a mechanism to promote awareness of the foster care program that often results in self-selection into the program by foster parents based on realistic criteria. Additionally, this model increases foster parents knowledge, expectations and skills, it enhances and promotes the role of foster caregivers in the planning and delivery of services to children and families, and it promotes and supports an effective, consistent teaming approach.
The pilot counties who have been enthusiastically implementing competency based, pre-service foster parent training have effectively utilized the expertise of the UW training partnerships. Again, while the Division is not requiring use of the training partnerships as a part of the application process, this collaboration is a logical link for providing knowledge, resources and technical assistance to agencies in providing competency based training for child welfare staff and foster parents.
The Division has developed an application process that will assist counties in receiving federal Title IV-E funding for competency based foster parent pre-service training. Based on feedback from foster parents as well as county, state and private child welfare agencies, the attached application was developed in order to capture the critical components for training. In turn, the narrative submitted by agencies must address each of the five key areas. Through the recent pilot experience with counties in the Western
Region, the outlined and attached key competencies were found to be highly successful and are required components of any training application. Additionally, all applications must use a training delivery system that utilizes a foster parent and child welfare staff as co-trainers, include a plan to train all new foster parents as well as a timeline to train all existing foster parents, and include the agencyís policy and procedures related to allegations of abuse and neglect for foster parents. In order to receive the IV-E passthrough, all foster parents must complete pre-service training. Any exceptions to this requirement must be clearly documented in an agency's application along with the timeframe for completion of pre-service training.
Federal funding is available under Title IV-E for training costs to prepare persons to be foster and adoptive parents. Allowable activities include pre-service training to prepare new foster parents for licensing and ongoing training for existing foster parents. An example is attached to this memo. The Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) will make Title IV-E funds available on a pass-through basis for training that meets state criteria.
The fiscal information for the IV-E reimbursement is attached to this memo along with instructions on how to submit an application. For calendar year 2002, a 50% IV-E reimbursement will be provided for approved training programs. The requirements for match and the contract procedures are explained in the attachment.
Agencies may submit applications by November 15th of each calendar year. Once an application is approved, Title IV-E reimbursement can be claimed for allowable activities retroactively to the first of that year.
Thank you for your commitment to Wisconsinís foster and adoptive parents.