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Trauma Informed Partnering For Safety and Permanence - Model Approach To Partnerships In Parenting

TIPS-MAPP is often viewed as a pre-service training, when in actuality it is a model program that utilizes 15 tools designed to help prospective adoptive/foster parents understand the difference between the desire to help and making the commitment to bring children into their home. Leader's use the tools to help inform participants about the child welfare system and the role of foster parents, develop the necessary skills to become a successful foster/adoptive parent and assess families to determine if they are a positive fit for the role of a foster parent and for their agency.

TIPS-MAPP leaders will be involved with families through group meetings and individual family consultations. Using both approaches allow leaders to combine the mutual selection process and the preparation process for prospective foster families and prospective adoptive families to achieve the following objectives to:

  • Ensure the family assessment is objective and described in specific, behavioral terms.
  • Increase the amount of responsibility prospective foster parents and adoptive parents take in the decision-making process, as a foundation for the responsibility they will take after a child is placed in their home.
  • Set the foundation for partnership between parents and social service agency staff.
  • Provide an opportunity for prospective foster parents and adoptive parents to make an informed decision about their ability to foster or adopt, based on an assessment of their ability to respond to simulated foster care and adoption experiences.
  • Prepare prospective adoptive parents and foster parents for the initial and long-term impacts of a new child in their family system.
  • Give new foster parents and adoptive parents some guidelines and practice to deal with issues that most often cause placement disruptions (e.g., children's behavior during the grieving process; children's feelings toward birth or other families; working with the agency).
  • Prepare adoptive parents for the life-long issues they will confront as their child matures to and through adulthood.

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Deciding Together

Trauma Informed Partnering For Safety and Permanence - Model Approach To Partnerships In Parenting - Deciding Together

Deciding Together (DT) is a one-on-one version of preparation and selection program. It was designed for families that were unable to attend the TIPS-MAPP group sessions due to rural locations, work schedules, or smaller agencies that may only have one or two applicant families. DT Leaders work with the families on a one-to-one basis during seven 2-hour consultations to make a mutual decision about the family's readiness to become a foster or adoptive family. The parents will complete guidebooks based on the MAPP Leader's direction. The material and activities in the workbooks align with the information presented in the TIPS-MAPP group process. In each guidebook the Leader will instruct the parents to skip certain activities that will be completed during the family consultations so that the Leader can gauge the family's reactions, responses and questions in a more spontaneous, unrehearsed manner. These activities will serve as an assessment tool for the Leader.

The following are the titles to the six parent guidebooks:

  • Book 1: Understanding Foster Care and Adoption Today
  • Book 2: Understanding Separation and Loss
  • Book 3: Helping Children Express and Meet Their Needs
  • Book 4: Helping Children Maintain and Build Connections
  • Book 5: Understanding the Impact of Fostering and Adoption on Families
  • Book 6: Building Support Systems for Foster and Adoptive Families

The seven family consultations are designed to give the leader and the family adequate time together to prepare for the experience of fostering and adopting.

Leaders must be certified in TIPS-MAPP prior to taking DT Training. The DT Leader Training is three-days which certify leaders to coach and develop prospective foster and adoptive parents using experiential activities and simulated foster care/adoption scenarios through the DT process. As a result, the leader and the family can mutually assess their strengths and needs in fostering, adopting or both. The MAPP Program provides a process for mutual problem solving and shared decision making that -- when used according to standards -- can lead to meaningful and lasting commitments to fostering and adopting.