What is a Family Strengthening Conference and How Will It Support My Family?
As a foster, adoptive, or kinship parent, you face a variety of wins, struggles, and speed bumps daily. Sometimes even in the same minute! With each placement the variables change, and now you might be facing situations you hadn’t before. It was because of these uncertainties — along with the lack of resources available — that Finally Home created trainings and events that support the entire family. These are specific programs that meet individuals where they’re at, in their own unique set of circumstances.
Finally Home’s Family Strengthening program equips foster, adoptive, and kinship families with skills and patterns found in healthy families. Most children and youth in foster care have experienced some kind of trauma, abuse, or neglect. All have experienced loss and disruption. As a result, they are left vulnerable, needing a special kind of family to step up and answer the call to provide a safe and loving home.
When a child or youth joins a family through foster, kinship, or adoption, the complex path to healing begins. The hope is that kids will either return to a healthy and safe biological family or be adopted into a forever home. The journey of becoming a family in this special way is full of unexpected twists, turns, and challenges. It is not for the faint of heart, yet even the strongest among us cannot do it alone. We were created to live in a community, and you need a special kind of community. Effective and ongoing community support helps families endure the hard times and celebrate the good times. Health and success are contagious in a community based on hope, common experiences, and the values of learning and growing.
What is a Family Strengthening Conference?
Finally Home developed Family Strengthening Conferences to deliver vital support and resources to families struggling with the trauma and changes that come from fostering, adopting, or providing kinship care. Finally Home’s mission is to help families move from barely surviving to thriving, and these conferences offer opportunities for the whole family to attend specialized sessions just for them. Members of your family will each have their own experience suited for their specific needs.
As caregivers, you’ll attend Survival Skills for Healthy Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Families, led by trained instructors who will present information taken from the best of social science and psychological research. Throughout interactive adult sessions that include significant time for parents and caregivers to share ideas with one another, you’ll learn skills and patterns that consistently show up in healthy families. As a bonus, these conferences qualify for caregiver continuing education units (CEUs) that apply to foster parent licensing.
While adult caregivers receive their training, children attend SuperHero Academy and youth attend Solid Rock Students programming.
In SuperHero Academy, children preschool aged through late elementary school are introduced to the importance of qualities like kindness, friendship, self control, and communication through Finally Home’s adorable SuperHero characters. During each event, children participate in activities, discussions, crafts, and games that empower them to grow in these specially selected attributes that increase their ability to heal from past trauma and face future adversity.
In Solid Rock Students, middle and high school students gather for a service project, life skills lesson, and fun field trip with other young people who know what it’s like to be in a foster, adoptive, or kinship family.
We created programs for each individual in the family so you can each get the resources you need while learning and growing together, without the need to find specialized childcare.
Why Did We Create Family Strengthening Conferences?
Like you, many families are willing to open their homes, but things get very hard when you face situations for which you do not feel equipped. Many first-time foster parents are not prepared for the trauma that foster children bring into homes. You probably have regularly faced behaviors that go beyond your experience or expertise. Our research-based parenting skills training helps you provide a safe space where children who have developmental delays and trauma impact can heal, reducing the impact of the trauma on the whole family.
How can You Participate in a Family Strengthening Conference?
We currently offer these conferences in Northern Colorado 1-2 times each year. Due to the nature of these experiences, Family Strengthening Conferences are offered in-person only. You can visit our event calendar to view our upcoming offerings.
If you don’t live in Northern Colorado, we’d love to hear from you. We are constantly training new instructors to help lead the Family Strengthening Conferences in new locations. We’d love to be able to tell you about any upcoming opportunities in your area or potentially start to look for instructors in areas from which we receive multiple requests.
As caregivers, we understand that you may need support immediately. Finally Home offers on-demand and live virtual workshops in addition to parent coaching to support you in your journey. Visit our programs page for more information.
How does a Finally Home Family Strengthening Conference help a community?
Interested in hosting a Family Strengthening Conference but not sure if it’s the right fit? Finally Home’s Family Strengthening Conferences provide a trusted gathering place where families find ongoing education, friendship, and practical help. They also give the larger community an opportunity to serve and be a part of the solution for protecting the next generation from falling prey to the growing risk factors that uniquely plague this population. (Children and youth in foster care are significantly more likely to be incarcerated, homeless, and trafficked than the general population.) When a community provides practical support to strengthen families so they can continue providing a stable home for children, it impacts schools, community safety, activities, and overall community health. When children must continue moving from home to home, the layers of trauma multiply, and the complexity and investment required to address their special needs grows exponentially.
Bringing a Family Strengthening Conference to your community means you can provide this critical support to your community with all the resources and curriculum in a neat bundle for you. To inquire about hosting an event in your location, contact us today!