Become a foster family

Before you register for training, you must attend a foster care information meeting.

Your foster care intake social worker will tell you when to register for these trainings. Registration is required, at least two weeks before the training date.

Your information
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Preferred mode of contact

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Initial children's mental health: required (choose one class from this category)
Introduction to children's mental health, with DHS

Learn about mental health problems that children in foster care often experience.

Recognizing early warning signs of children's mental health, with NAMI MN

Recognizing Early Warning Signs is a two hour workshop whose educational objectives are to help foster parents learn early warning signs of mental illnesses and trauma in children and youth, gain an understanding of the impact of mental Illnesses and trauma on children, and learn strategies to support children who live with an illness. Suicide warning signs and resources are also covered.

Race and cultural identity course: required (choose one class from this category)
Racial identity development and self-esteem in successful placements, with Robert O'Connor

This session will provide tools, theories and insights for supporting youth in all their important developmental tasks of discovering self and feeling good about the skin they're in.

Intentional parenting: race and culture, with Robert O'Connor
Individual classes
Coping with your foster child's trauma
The developmental impact of trauma on young children
Discipline in foster care: managing our behavior to manage theirs

Many children in care experience traumatic events, including abuse, neglect and domestic violence. These traumatic events can affect a child long after he or she has been removed from the source of the trauma. Participants will learn to understand and respond to the behaviors exhibited by the children in their care and leave with practical, trauma-informed discipline strategies to begin using with the children in their care.

Foster care the Hennepin way: nuts and bolts (optional)

Learn the ins and outs of the foster care system with Hennepin County. This class is intended to be taken within the first year of licensing.

Prudent parenting

The Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standard can be found in MN Statute. It was developed to remove barriers to normalcy for foster children, supporting emotional and developmental growth by permitting children to participate in activities or events that are generally accepted as suitable for children/youth of the same chronological ages or developmentally appropriate for a child.

NEW Mandated reporting for foster parents with a Hennepin County Child Protection investigator


Sudden unexpected infant death/abusive head trauma and car safety

The car seat safety and infant death and abuse classes below are paired so you can take both in one day. Choose a session from each class.

Sudden unexpected infant death, abusive head trauma class is required for all foster parents taking children under age 6. Anyone helping you care for children under age 6 must also take this training and are welcome to attend for no cost.

Car seat safety is required for all foster parents who will transport foster children under age 9 by motor vehicle. Anyone that will be helping you transport children will also be required, but can also attend at no cost.

Fees: free to Hennepin County foster parents and those helping with the care or transport of a Hennepin County foster parent’s foster children. $25 for each session for all other attendees. Pay by check or money order only, to Hennepin County Treasurer.

Location for classes will be at Brookdale Human Services, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn Center.

Car seat safety for Hennepin County providers only











No fee

Car seat safety for Hennepin County employees and private agencies

$25 fee per person, employees exempt from fee

Sudden unexpected infant death and abusive head trauma











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