Training to become a foster parent

The agencies represented in this website all provide training for foster parents. The recommended selection and preparation curriculum for fostering is called “MAPP,” which is short for the “Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting / Group Preparation and Selection” (MAPP/GPS) Pre-Certification Training Program.”

The MAPP approach to foster parenting encourages open communication and trust among potential foster families, adoptive families, birth families and casework staff.

MAPP examines 12 criteria or skills necessary for successful foster / adoptive parenting. Through role-playing, personal profiles, and other techniques, the homefinder and the applicant make mutual decisions about foster parenting.

Objectives of the training for prospective foster and adoptive parents are:

  • Learning what to expect and what services are available.
  • Looking at one’s own strengths and needs.
  • Developing skills in giving love and attention to a troubled child.
  • Learning about stages of child development.
  • Helping children manage behavior.
  • Understanding the roles and responsibilities of teamwork.
  • Helping foster parents develop a good understanding of the child's parents.

Other training is mandated for your ongoing certification. Individualized programs may also be available to support you in your role as a foster parent. Ask the agency with whom you are interested in working or contact the Erie County Department of Social Services.