Changes in Foster Care | Responding to Families’ Changing Needs

Responding to Changes in Foster Care Placements

Changes in Foster Care - Kinship Care

Changes in Foster Care – Kinship Care

I’ve been involved with FAFS for 9 years now, and we’ve always responded to the changing needs of our families. Unlike some other foster care organizations, FAFS has done a tremendous job in staying current and viable as we continue to see more and more changes in foster care. We are just as relevant and forward thinking as we were 10, 15, and 20+ years ago.

One of the biggest changes in foster care we’ve seen over our years is that when we started, there were sooo many children and not enough homes. Now too many homes, and not alot of children to place in them (in our area). The future of foster care in kinship care. FAFS’ programs will be heading in that direction, but I foresee the landscape changing again as children start aging out of kinship or difficulties develop within kinship homes.

Changes in Foster Care – Helping Kinship Caregivers

Kinship caregivers who are new to the foster care system often need assistance navigating the ins and outs of DCP&P policy, etc., and FAFS is reaching out to grandparents raising grandchildren in NJ, as well as other relatives and friends coming to the aid of our state’s most vulnerable children.

FAFS promotes the theory that foster parents are the foster child’s best advocates, and they assist us in being just that. My involvement with Foster and Adoptive Family Services helped me be a better foster parent by shedding light on this important duty.

From the NJ foster parent support group side (our Support Networks, also known as Volunteer Committees), relationships have been strengthened with the Board of Directors over the years. No matter what changes in foster care have come and gone over our forty years of service, FAFS has always maintained a stronghold in our field of expertise: being the voice of foster, adoptive and kinship families in New Jersey.

FAFS is well rounded and versed in all aspects of foster care, including kinship care. Its like “one stop shopping” with all of your answers under one roof. To learn more, please visit

Milestones in Foster Care History The 1970’s | Free Training For Foster Parents in NJ

Free Training For Foster Parents in NJ Means Better Care For Foster Children in the State

When we started back in the early ’70s, there was no free training for foster parents in NJ offered or required by the State, nor paid training for that matter. But then, just like now, foster parents were taking children into their home who had experienced abuse and neglect, or had serious medical issues. Foster parents wanted to help the kids – and wanted help helping the kids – but there wasn’t anything “official” available. Many foster parents took trainings in one parenting skill or another from various sources, but there was no consistency. If you lived in Essex County, for instance, you might be doing something totally different than a foster parent in Mercer County. We’ve come a long way since then! (Click to learn more about currently offered free foster parent training in NJ.)

When we started the NJFPA, now known as FAFS, we knew we wanted to make free training for foster parents readily available and that we wanted to make it consistent throughout New Jersey. We also knew we wanted a foster parent to provide and present the training. We told DYFS (now DCP&P), “We have a foster parent that is very knowledgeable and knows a lot about training, and we would like that person to be in charge of the training.” Back then, we were met with some resistance – not so much to the training itself, but to having a foster parent in charge. But we told them, “I think they (the foster parents) want that, and that’s what we’re going to have to get.” Continue reading