The Foster STARS training program for CTH resource families
Our committed resource families need specific knowledge and skills in order to fill the role and perform the tasks demanded of them. The Foster STARS training program identifies competencies families need to successfully be a resource to our kids. The competencies are divided into five categories adapted from the essential tasks of fostering identified by the National Commission of Family Foster Care.
The STARS program focuses on building a stable and nurturing environment for the kids and parents, easing the transition between families. The five competency categories give our resource families the tools they need to successfully create a stable, nurturing environment for our kids.
The five competencies include:
- Protecting and Nurturing
Resource families are expected to provide a safe, healthy environment for children with unconditional positive support. This includes, but is not limited to, maintaining a physical environment conducive to proper growth; using non-physical methods of discipline; and recognizing and responding appropriately to the signs of neglect and emotional maltreatment, physical and sexual abuse, and alcohol and drug abuse.
- Meeting Developmental Needs and Addressing Developmental Delays
Resource families are expected to meet the developmental needs of children: build self esteem, support cultural and spiritual identity, provide positive guidance use appropriate discipline, support intellectual/ educational growth, and encourage positive social relationships. This includes, but is not limited to, knowing the effects of separation and loss; helping children cope with the resultant feelings; maintaining “lifebooks”; and developing positive self-esteem through grooming and hygiene.
- Supporting Relationships Between Children and Their Families
Resource families are expected to support relationships between children and youths and their primary/birth families to the fullest possible extent. This includes, but is not limited to, respecting and supporting a child’s ties to siblings; knowing the possible impact of visits upon the feelings and behavior of children; and recognizing cultural, social, and economic similarities and differences between a child’s primary family, foster family, and adoptive family.
- Promoting Permanency Outcomes
Resource families are expected to promote permanency planning leading first to family reunification or other safe and nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime. This includes, but is not limited to, understanding the process and impact of a child’s transition from a foster family to the primary family, to adoptive family, to becoming that child’s adoptive family, to long-term family foster care, to private guardianship, or to independent living.
- Working as a Member of a Professional Team
Resource families are expected to participate as essential and effective members of a professional team. This includes, but is not limited to, knowing the mandate, structure and regulations of their child welfare agency; understanding the laws that define abuse and neglect and the legal processes related to child placement and family reunification; and knowing the absolute necessity to respect confidentiality for children and families.
Prospective resource families will complete 27 hours of training accompanied by a family assessment/ home study.
In addition, each resource family is given a Boys & Girls Town community treatment home case manager. Community treatment home case managers offer additional resources for the child including: weekly visits to the home; assistance in coordinating a strength-based team approach and treatment plan for each family that will be tailored to the children’s needs; monthly update contact with the referring agency; coordination of therapeutic services and need referrals/services; and are available to assist the family 24 hours a day.
Have more questions about the STARS training program or becoming a certified resource family? Please contact the Boys & Girls Town Community Treatment Home department through the information below:
Amber Warren, MSW
Community Treatment Home Licensing Specialist
Edgewood Children's Center
4485 Westminster Place
St. Louis, MO 63108