Training & Support
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare requires that all Foster Parents residing within the Commonwealth obtain at least six hours of training per calendar year. IMPACT families are provided with the opportunity to obtain up to thirty six hours of training over the course of each year.
The calendar posted at the end of this section has our upcoming IMPACT sponsored free trainings for the months of January-May 2014 and September-October 2014. They all occur at The Macungie Institute which is located at 510 East Main Street (Route 100) Macungie, PA 18064. Each training is conducted on a weekday and in the morning while our foster children are in school. This allows IMPACT foster parents the latitude to attend without their foster children and it also provides a forum in which all IMPACT foster families can meet, talk, network, etc.
IMPACT also belongs to the Greater Lehigh Valley Foster Care Coalition. This organization hosts two free daylong (six hour) trainings each year. The fall training is usually held in Bethlehem, PA and the spring training is usually held in Reading, PA. Both trainings are run on a Saturday and are free. They also will be posted on the calendar.
In addition, for those parents whose schedule does not allow for them to take advantage of the aforementioned free trainings there are universally accepted training websites that specialize in training foster parents on a wide range of topics. These websites do charge nominal fees which would be the responsibility of the parent to pay. Two of the sites which IMPACT recommends are listed below. In the event that IMPACT families choose to or have to use them to satisfy their yearly training responsibilities, it is important to not only complete the online training of choice but to also print a receipt as proof of completion for IMPACT’s record keeping purposes.
http://fosterparents.com/ | http://www.fosterparentcollege.com/
Every IMPACT foster home has one assigned Case Manager and one assigned Clinical Liaison who each go to the home once a week to work with the foster children placed in the home. While the Clinical component is confidential and client centered by nature, the Case Management component includes the child, foster family, school officials, biological family members, county workers, juvenile probation officers, etc etc etc…
Our Case Management staff are all at least Bachelor’s level graduates and in some cases Master’s level graduates. They provide some of the highest levels of care in the state. They are fully responsible for attending court ordered case review hearings and providing detailed testimony to update the courts on the progress of children in placement. They expeditiously handle school enrollments of all newly admitted foster children. They coordinate home visits with foster children’s biological family members and provide transportation. IMPACT Case Managers are the conduits through which all information flows from our foster family’s to the placing counties of the foster children and vice versa. Case Managers are the glue that holds each and every foster child’s placement together. This team approach promotes a supportive and cohesive network for each family and is the formula IMPACT uses to ensure maximum success rates.
IMPACT also has a twenty-four hour on-call service in case of any emergencies that may occur after business hours or on weekends/holidays.
Foster Parents receive tax free reimbursement on a monthly basis for the care of each child. In addition, standard expenses such as clothing, mileage to formal agency directed appointments, and family/school/athletic related activities are also retroactively reimbursed.