The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, Public Law 113 – 183 with amended Title IV-E requirements is discussed to review prudent parent standards for family foster homes and child caring institutions. To assist in healthy development, children need to be involved in normal developmentally appropriate experiences and be provided with opportunities for safe risk-taking. Various factors including the child’s age, maturity, developmental level and risk of activity are all important to consider when making decisions on the children’s behalf. Misconceptions and realities of the prudent parent standards are discussed as well.
This free training discusses the amended Title IV-E requirements of the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, Public Law 113 – 183 to have established prudent parent standards for family foster homes as well as child caring institutions. States must certify that foster parents and designated staff are trained with appropriate knowledge and skills to provide for the needs of foster children, including deciding on appropriate activities for the children.
Normalcy is discussed in the lesson and refers to allowing children in placement to experience childhood and adolescence in similar ways to peers who are not in care. To achieve healthy development, children need to be involved in normal developmentally appropriate experiences and be provided with opportunities for safe risk-taking. To determine developmentally appropriate activities, it’s important for the caregiver to look at the child’s cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral skills compared to what is typical for their age group.
The prudent parent standard is characterized by careful and sensible parenting that maintains the health, safety, cultural, religious and tribal values that are in the best interest of the child. Factors that need to be considered when choosing activities include the child’s age, maturity, developmental level and risk of activity. Accomplishing a skill can lead to self-esteem building and impacts their emotional and developmental growth. Family life experiences are important as well and it is necessary to ensure a foster child is given similar opportunities as other children. Being mindful of the child’s behavioral history is important when making prudent decisions. Addressing the parent or guardian’s concerns is important to acknowledge as well.
A list of activities is reviewed in the lesson, including family and recreation activities, school and extracurricular activities, sleepovers, practicing driving, and babysitting. It is stressed that parents communicate with their agency when the child is going out of state or are engaging in extremely high-risk activities.
Later in the course it is explained that children 14 years old and up may designate one member on their case planning team to apply the reasonable and prudent parenting standard. Youth should be consulted in court hearings about their opportunities to participate in activities. For residential facilities and corporate foster homes, there has to be at least one staff person that works on-site and Is trained in normalcy and prudent parent standard.
Misconceptions and realities of the prudent parenting standard are discussed. An example of this is if a child stays overnight at a friend’s house, the friend’s parents are not short-term substitute caregivers, so no background study or check needs to be made. Another misconception is that foster children are not allowed to attend community functions without an adult. It is important that children are permitted to participate in activities or events that are generally acceptable for children of the same age.
For a full transcript of the video this course is based on, click here.