University of Vermont

The Vermont Child Welfare Training Partnership

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Foster Adoptive and Kin Training

About the Program

The Child Welfare Training Partnership offers learning opportunities for Vermont foster, adoptive and kin parents around the state in collaboration with the Vermont Department for Children and Families Family Services Division and the Vermont Adoption Consortium.

Foundations for Foster Care

Vermont requires that all foster parents complete 18 hour Foundations for Foster Care training within the first year of becoming a foster parent, and preferably before foster children are placed in a home. The Foundations for Foster Care Course is completed by participating in four 1 ½ hour teleconference calls (which foster parents can do from home) and then five classroom sessions which are three hours each. The classes are as follows:

First Steps

Teleconference Classes:

1. The Many Hats of a Foster Parent

2. Permanency and the Court Process

3. From the Circle of Courage to Discipline

4. The Nuts and Bolts of Foster Parenting

Classroom Sessions:

1. Family Connections and Identity

2. Parenting Adolescents and Discipline for All Ages

3. Helping Children Cope with Loss and Supporting Attachment

4. Understanding Sexual Abuse and Trauma

5. Self-Assessment, Self-Care and Graduation

Adoptive Parenting: Maps and Tools for the Journey

Vermont adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to complete a 15 hour course entitled Adoptive Parenting: Maps and Tools for the Journey in preparation for becoming an adoptive parent. The CWTP offers this course in locations around the state, also usually during the evenings to accommodate family schedules. Typically this is held in five, three-hour sessions.

An Overview of the Adoption Course:

1. Parenting an Adopted Child

2. Child Development, Attachment and Adoption

3. Success, Challenges and Interventions

4. Identity Development and Adoption

5. Looking toward the Future

Kinship Care

Many children who come into the custody of the State of Vermont are placed with kin providers - family members who care for their relative children. CWTP offers a 15 hour course called Kinship Care designed specifically to meet the foundation training needs of kin caregivers. This is offered where sufficient numbers of kinship caregivers need training, and meets the state requirement for foundation training for kin caregivers, who are then exempted from Foundations for Foster Care.

An Overview of the Kinship Care Course:

1. An Overview of Kinship Care

2. Attachment and Child Development

3. Family Relationships

4. Behavior and Discipline

5. Parental Substance Abuse

CWTP offers additional training for local foster parent associations, and at the Vermont Foster and Adoptive Family Association's annual conferences.

Three foster and adoptive parent Training Coordinators oversee the delivery of about 26 sessions of Foundations for Foster Care annually, located at all twelve Family Services districts. The Foundations for Foster Care Classroom sessions are offered at least twice a year and the teleconference classes are offered monthly. Adoptive Parenting and Kinship Care are also coordinated by these staff, who hire, train, and supervise professional instructors and foster/adoptive/kin parent assistant instructors for each course. In addition, they collaborate with DCF district staff, assess ongoing training needs, and develop curricula for delivery through distance learning and within communities.


The non-degree programs of the CWTP are housed in Mann Hall on the Trinity Campus of the University of Vermont. The Partnership Assistant, Susan Conte, can be reached at 802-656-3311 or


Principle Investigator

Jessica Strolin, Ph.D.


Sarah Ward, LICSW

Training Coordinators:

Rutland, Bennington, Brattleboro and Springfield:

Deidra Razzaque, MSW

802-257-7967 Ext. 14

Barre, Morrisville, Hartford, and Newport:

Janet Benoit Connor, M.Ed.

Middlebury, Morrisville, and St. Albans:

Sharon O’Neill, MA, ATR


Burlington, St. Johnsbury, and Newport:

Juliet Davis, M.S.W.




Last modified September 19 2014 11:44 AM

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