The National Voice of Foster Parents


NFPA Updates

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  • 29 Oct 2014 8:30 AM | Rachel Mertz (Administrator)

    The 2014 SAFE conference is for anyone who wants to make a

    difference in the area of sex-trafficking.  Whether you seek to become

    a part of the solution through prevention, intervention, or aftercare,

    this conference will equip you with the tools to excel in your field.

    Please view the event page for further information and registration.

  • 20 Jun 2014 3:10 PM | Rachel Mertz (Administrator)

    Advocates For Families First is a collaboration of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, Generations United, and the National Foster Parent Association.
    They recently had their First Legislative Policy Briefing in D.C. and released their policy agenda. The policy agenda can be found on their website at:

  • 17 Jun 2014 10:26 AM | Rachel Mertz (Administrator)
    Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth invites you to attend a Legislative Policy Briefing: A National Agenda to Ensure Every Child Has a Family. Click here to read more and to RSVP.

    Advocates for Families First Congressional Briefing Invite.pdf

  • 01 Apr 2014 11:57 AM | Rachel Mertz (Administrator)

    The Children's Bureau, together with its information service, Child Welfare Information Gateway - and the National Foster Parent Association are  pleased to announce the launch of the 2014 National Foster Care Month website . This year's theme is "Building Blocks Toward Permanent Families," and the website provides resources for supporting permanence through reunification, kinship care, guardianship, and adoption, including resources specifically geared toward foster parents.

    Get ready for National Foster Care Month and spread the word:
    • Share information about National Foster Care Month in your newsletter, social media networks, and/or support groups.
    • View this year's resources about "Building Blocks Toward Permanent Families"
    • Add a link to your email signature or a widget to your website.
    • Share the FAQ handout with colleagues at meetings and conferences.
    • Get inspired by real-life stories from families, youth, foster parents, caseworkers, and others.
    • Check out the outreach tools offered in the Promote section.

    Be sure to check back in May for more updates, including the Presidential Proclamation, real-life stories videos, and much more!

    For more information, contact Child Welfare Information Gateway at: 1.800.394.3366 or email

  • 21 Feb 2014 10:51 AM | Rachel Mertz (Administrator)
    NFPA friends and members,

    Anna Yelick, a second year doctoral student in the College of Social Work at Florida State University, is conducting a brief study in order to examine a new scale: the Motivation for Prescription Medication Use (MPMU) scale. This scale was designed to examine foster parent motivations for giving prescription medications to foster children. While it is likely that they do not have the right to make medical decisions for their foster child (as that right is retained with the biological parent or the agency/ state), as the foster parent, they are likely involved in the discussions regarding the decisions to medicate their foster child.

    In addition, there may be times when the foster parent would prefer not to give prescription medications to the foster child. Therefore, this scale examines when foster parents would be or would not be likely to agree to give prescription medications to their foster child, if given the choice.

    Anna would be very grateful if you could please post (or email) the link to this survey so that foster parents can access it. The survey will take most people approximately 30 minutes or less to complete. Your participation in this survey and study is voluntary and you are able to opt out at any time prior to taking the survey or during the survey. In order to participate in this study the foster parent must be at least 18 years old and are currently or have been a foster parent to at least one child for more than one consecutive month.
    Please click the e-mail link below:

    If you would like more information, Anna is happy to answer any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. Please email her at:
  • 20 Feb 2014 1:45 PM | Rachel Mertz (Administrator)

    A Home Within is in the process of developing a new program called Fostering Relationships that will provide training and resources about emotional well-being to everyone involved in the foster care system. We are trying to gain feedback from the community about what types of training and resources they see a need for -- both personally and for others.

    We would appreciate if you would take the brief 11-question survey linked below:

    All information will be kept confidential.

  • 12 Feb 2014 9:24 PM | Dennis Seger (Administrator)
    Cenpatico University, Foster Care EDU is a comprehensive educational training initiative offered as a community service that targets all stakeholders of the foster care system. These online trainings are offered free of charge, are interactive and facilitated trainings using a ‘conference to you’ approach. These trainings are hosted live by national experts and other trainers (open to all foster care stakeholders).

    See all upcoming online training events.
  • 05 Feb 2014 10:08 PM | Dennis Seger (Administrator)
    NFPA has published the updated Federal Tax Benefits for Foster, Adoptive and Kinship Caregiver for the 2013 tax year.  This 26 page document covers all aspects of how the 2013 federal tax laws affect foster, adoptive and kinship caregivers.

    The guide is available for free download for NFPA members.  You can join NFPA today and download the guide immediately.

    Here's a listing of section titles:
    • Introduction
    • 2013 Tax Law Changes and Non-Changes
    • General Rules
    • Taxable Income
    • Non-Taxable Income
    • Deductions and Credits
    • Dependency Exemption
    • Earned Income Credit (EIC)
    • Charitable Contributions
    • Record-keeping
    • Professional Foster Parents
    • Adoption Tax Credit
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Child and Dependent Care Credit
    • Education Credits
    • Special Rules for Legal Guardians
    • Claims for Prior Years
    • Resources    
    • Professional Tax Preparation
    • IRS Inquiries and Disputes
    • Conclusion
  • 25 Nov 2013 7:43 AM | Sarah Schafer (Administrator)
    Dear Colleagues,
    We’re pleased to share the latest SPARC brief, Implementing Trauma-Informed Practices in Child Welfare. Authored by Eva J. Klain and Amanda R. White, ABA Center on Children and the Law, this brief highlights the effects of trauma on child wellbeing and provides practice recommendations and examples of specific initiatives to guide transformation of the system.

    According to the 2012 Report of the Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, 46 million children living in the United States will have their lives affected by violence, crime, abuse, or psychological trauma this year. The Task Force recommends that every professional or advocate serving children exposed to violence and psychological trauma learn and provide trauma-informed care and trauma-focused services.

    Child welfare system stakeholders, and the children and families they serve, can greatly benefit from integrating trauma knowledge into their policies and practices and thereby improve outcomes for abused and neglected children.

    Trauma-specific interventions go beyond treating the symptoms of trauma, such as mental health disorders, and focus on the interplay between trauma and its consequences. This approach includes providing children with a sense of control and hope, and requires the involvement of all stakeholders working with the child, including caseworkers, lawyers, judges, providers, birth parents, and caregivers (foster parents and kinship caregivers). Such trauma-informed practices present an excellent opportunity for improving child welfare outcomes.

     The brief can be downloaded here

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  • 19 Nov 2013 7:24 AM | Sarah Schafer (Administrator)
    New IMPACT Website!

    Family Voices has launched a new website, IMPACT Health and Wellness for Families. We encourage you to check it out and share the link with not only friends and family, but health providers, colleagues, teachers, employers, PTAs, YMCAs, and any other groups who are interested in promoting health and wellness at home and in the community:

    Little changes can make a big difference in the health and well-being of children and adults. This website offers information and tips that parents can use to fit into their own lives, and shares information that is valuable to the wider world of family health and wellness. The site promotes health and wellness knowledge for all families, including culturally diverse families and families with children and youth who have special needs and disabilities.

    You'll find the information from our old website, Bright Futures for Families, updated, revised, and organized to make finding the information you want for your family easy.

    Highlights of the New Website:
    • Home Page: Here you'll find two on-going news columns:
    o Information and Resources for Families: These news items are created by IMPACT, and feature family-friendly resources on health and wellness topics.
    o From the World of Family Health and Wellness: These items come from other trusted sources.
    • About: Learn about Family Voices and Project IMPACT.
    • Wellness Themes: Much of the website is organized around the ten Bright Futures Health Promotion Themes: Family Support, Child Development, Emotional Wellness and Mental Health, Healthy Weight, Healthy Food and Eating, Physical Activity, Oral Health, Healthy Sexuality, Safety and Injury Prevention, and Community Relationships and Resources.
    • Lifespan: Find age-specific information about what to expect at well-visit checkups and wellness information for given age groups: Infancy, Early Childhood, Middle Childhood, Adolescence.
    • IMPACT Products: Find family-friendly publications on all the themes, as well as other IMPACT publication favorites, such as the Family Voices Bright Futures Family Pocket Guide: Raising Healthy Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 2nd Ed.
    • Resources: There is a wealth of information here from trusted resources on all the health promotion themes and other topics of interest.
    What do You Think?
    We'd love to hear from you about the new website. Send your comments to Leslie Carroll, Director of IMPACT, at; or Melissa Vickers, IMPACT Project Coordinator, at
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