Pre-Service Training and Ongoing Training

Pre-Service Training, Ongoing Certification

To become a licensed foster and/or adoptive parent, an individual is required to attend pre-service training. The training program is 39 hours. Additional materials will be distributed to prospective parents throughout pre-service training, including the agency mission statement, training make-up information, agency policies, and information about the types of children available for foster care and adoption.

The State of Ohio maintains an E-Track online training system that is used for registering for training sessions, completing evaluation surveys, getting training certificates and viewing your training record online.

To register for classes, go to E-Track and register online. If we have an email address, you will receive a Welcome to E-Track email with a link to the Foster Caregiver/Adoptive Parent E-Track Training Page.

At the end of each training program, you will receive an email with an evaluation survey to fill out. Once you fill out the evaluation, your certificate is emailed in 7-10 days after the class ends.

You are strongly encouraged to provide an email address so that you can take full advantage of E-Track. If you don’t have a computer, you can use the computers at the Education Center or at the public library. Even if you don’t have an email address, you will still have an E-Track record that contains your training history.

Any questions, please call Kimberly Gear at (330) 379-1976 or [email protected].

E-Track logon page:

Below are descriptions of the Pre-Service training classes. It is highly recommended they be taken in order.

Orientation (#PS1)
This training provides an overview of the child welfare system and examines the differences between foster care, adoption and kinship care. Participants receive information about the needs of waiting children as well as the process of becoming a caregiver.

The Child Protection Team (#PS2)
This training discusses the history of foster care and adoption and examines the role of the foster/adoptive/kinship caregiver within that system. Information is shared about the effective use of teams to serve children.

The Effects of Child Abuse or Neglect on Child Development (#PS3)
This training examines the dynamics of child maltreatment. The trainer also seeks to develop empathy for the birth parent or caregiver who has abused or neglected a child. Participants view a video about an abusive birth parent, and they view a set of slides which depicts the signs of child maltreatment. This workshop gives participants an overview of normal child development and examines the impact of abuse and neglect on child development.

Attachment, Separation and Placement (#PS4)
The training examines the reasons for behavioral problems among foster and adoptive children. The training also examines the agency’s policy regarding corporal punishment and the underlying reasons for that policy. Finally, participants receive information on positive ways to manage behavior, including natural and logical consequences, contracting and rewards.

Managing Behavior (#PS5)
This training examines the reasons for behavioral problems among foster and adopted children. The training also explains the agency policy regarding corporal punishment and the underlying reasons for that policy. Finally, participants receive information on positive ways to manage behavior including natural and logical consequences, contracting and rewards.

Preventing and De-escalating Crisis (#PS6)
This training explores the triggers that might generate feelings of anger or fear in the caregiver of the child, resulting in family conflict. Techniques to resolve conflict through win/win, rather than win/lose, negotiation will be presented and practiced. Participants will learn strategies to prevent crisis from developing and will learn methods to de-escalate crisis, if necessary, while keeping all family members safe.

Cultural Issues in Placement (#PS7)
This training presents an overview of culture and the ways in which our values and codes of conduct are impacted by culture. Participants learn to separate culture from race and learn to identify the many and complex ingredients of cultural identity. Participants will also learn methods to more successfully parent a child from a culture different from their own.

Understanding Primary Families (#PS8)
This training provides information about the losses experienced by birth families, expected behaviors of grieving birth parents, and ways to work effectively with birth families along a continuum of contact.

Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused (#PS9)
This training examines the definition and dynamics of sexual abuse of children. The training also prepares prospective parents to develop an awareness of the characteristics of caregivers that lead to success in parenting children who have been sexually abused.

Effects of Caregiving on the Caregiving Family (#PS10)
This training examines the impact of foster care/adoption/kinship care on the family system. The training also enables prospective parents to develop effective coping strategies and survival plans.

Permanency for Children (#PS11)
This training examines the effect of long-term separation from the birth family (either by adoption or long-term foster care) on children. The training will explain some “triggers” that may exacerbate difficulties of children experiencing these long-term separations.

Permanency for Families (#PS12)
This training examines the impact of adoption issues for adoptive parents on the family system. The training also explores techniques of talking with children about their adoptive status and difficult birth histories. The training will present the typical stages of adoptive family adjustment following placement. Finally, information about post-adoption services is shares with prospective parents. All Pre-Service training classes are held at the Education Center located at Summit County Children Services, 264 S. Arlington Street, Akron, Ohio 44306.

You must register in advance to attend Pre-Service training. To register, please contact Summit County Children Services by telephone at (330) 379-1990, by fax at (330) 379-1924, or by e-mail at [email protected].

View the current schedule of Pre-Service training classes or contact Summit County Children Services at (330) 379-1990.

Once an individual is licensed as a foster parent, he/she is required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing training during each two-year certification period. Continued training will consist of courses that a foster caregiver must complete in accordance with the caregiver’s written needs assessment and continuing training plan. Foster caregivers are encouraged to complete a minimum of 20 training hours in each year.

For newly-licensed foster caregivers, The Fundamentals of Fostering workshops were developed to build on the learning provided during pre-service training and will allow caregivers to go beyond awareness and knowledge by developing skills that they can apply to their new roles as foster caregivers. These workshops are not required but highly recommended for all foster caregivers during their first two years of fostering.

Click here for training description for The Fundamentals of Fostering workshops.

Aside from classroom training, foster parents may use the following activities as opportunities for expanded training with the training supervisor’s pre-approval: video presentations, computer programs, on-line training, public information television programs, educational programs offered through various sources in the community, other professional education and training, and foster parent district meetings when there is a designated training scheduled. Foster parents may only achieve up to 20 percent of his or her continuing training requirements using these designated methods. Foster parents must obtain a certificate of attendance and/or complete a documentation form to obtain credit.

Foster parents are also required to complete and maintain certification/recertification for First Aid and Infant, Child and Adult Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

Pre-service training may not be counted towards the completion of continuing training requirements

Summit County Children Services provides ongoing training opportunities for its active foster parents. .For more Information about training and to see the training schedule for foster parent training offered in other counties through the Northeast Ohio Regional Training Center refer to

Foster Parent Training Schedules

View foster parent training classes offered through the Northeast Ohio Regional Training Center at Summit County Children Services.  NOTE:  There are no foster parent trainings offered in July.

NOTE:  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all training schedule are always subject to change.

For more information on the Foster Parent Training Program, contact Kimberly Gear at 330-379-1976. or by e-mail at [email protected].

Summit County Children Services
Telephone: (330) 379-1990
Fax: (330) 379-1924
Email: [email protected]

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