Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Resource for Foster Care Agencies

Breaking the Ice Between Birth and Foster Parents
Gone are the days when child protection systems "saved" children by whisking them away from struggling families. Today, much more is known about the protective qualities of family relationships, and working to keep birth families involved in caring for their children while in foster care is an essential role for child welfare systems. While team decision-making and other elements are critical in this process, a new publication describes how icebreaker meetings between birth and foster parents can be especially critical in supporting children who have entered out-of-home care or changed placements.
Building working relationships between birth parents, foster parents, and caseworkers can be extremely important for foster children, and using Icebreaker meetings can be an effective mechanism for doing that. However, to be successful, an agency seeking to introduce Icebreakers must understand how the practice works. This publication is designed to:
  • Give agencies an overview of Icebreaker meetings;
  • Describe a work group process for planning and implementing Icebreaker meetings;
  • Identify common barriers and roadblocks to successful implementation of Icebreaker meetings;
  • Identify implementation steps that are often overlooked or missed;
  • Share successes and examples of agencies using Icebreaker meetings;
  • Share samples of Icebreaker documents and materials developed by agencies from across the country; and
  • Provide a self-assessment tool to guide your planning and implementation.
For more information visit http://www.aecf.org/OurWork/ChildWelfarePermanence/IcebreakerMeetings.aspx

No comments: