Members of resource families sitting in a training environment together.

Resource Family Training Materials

To help you understand the scope of what you will be studying during our three-day training sessions, here is a helpful overview of subjects:

Day 1

Overview of Child Welfare System

  • Child Welfare Philosophy
  • Court Process
  • Hierarchy of Permanency Goals
  • Concurrent Planning
  • Types of Resource Families
  • Visitation
  • Confidentiality
  • Responsibilities as a Resource Parent

Description of Diakon Programs

  • Foster/Legal Risk 
  • SWAN
  • Interstate Special Needs Adoption
  • Private Infant 
  • Program Fees
  • Interviewing Tips

Family Profile/Home Study Process

Act 101

  • Voluntary Contact Agreement
  • Search
  • Pennsylvania Adoption Information Registry

Post-Permanency Services


Child Development

  • Normal Child Development
  • Influential Factors on Development
  • Developmental Domains
  • Stages of Child Development
  • Impact of Abuse and Neglect on Child Development
  • Remedial Parenting 
  • Assessing Behavior in Context of Child Development
  • Creative Ways to Connect

Day 2 

Trauma 101 

  • Types of Trauma
  • How Children Respond to Trauma
  • Reactions to Trauma Reminders
  • Traumatic Stress Reactions
  • Traumatic Play
  • Talking About Trauma

Difficult Behaviors

  • Lying
  • Stealing
  • Hoarding and Gorging
  • Aggression

Resilience/Recovering from Trauma

Grief and Loss

  • Types of Loss
  • Elements that Influence a Child’s Experience of a Loss
  • Stages of Grief 


  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Cycle of Needs
  • Symptoms of Attachment Difficulties
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Stages of Attachment in Adoptive Families

Parenting the Foster Child

  • Six Things to Know Before Parenting a Foster Child
  • Skills of Successful Foster Parents
  • 10 Principles of Good Parenting

Positive Discipline

  • Discipline vs. Punishment
  • Examples of Positive Discipline

Most Common Diagnoses

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Mood Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Medication

First Aid Quiz

Day 3

Transracial Adoption

  • Challenges
  • Adoptive Parent Cultural Competence
  • Practical Tips

Drug & Alcohol Exposure

  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • Tips for Parents

Communicable Diseases

  • Universal Precautions and Personal Protective Equipment
  • Pennsylvania Act 148

Talking to Your Child about Difficult Histories

  • Positive Adoption Language
  • Age-Level Discussion
  • The Sandwich Theory
  • Common Triggers
  • Important Points to Remember

Sexual Abuse

  • Why is Sexual Abuse Not Reported?
  • Impact of Sexual Abuse
  • Talking with Your Child About Sexual Abuse
  • Parenting the Sexually Abused Child
  • Green Light Behaviors
  • Significant Signs of Sexual Abuse
  • Assessing Normal vs. Abnormal Sexual Behaviors in Children
  • Addressing Sexual Acting-Out Behaviors with Children

What Makes a Successful Foster/Adoptive Parent

Reasonable and Prudent Parenting/Pennsylvania HB 477

  • Key Terms
  • Responsibilities of Resource Parents 
  • Why is Participation in Age- and Developmentally Appropriate Activities Important?
  • Utilizing Safety Plans
  • Utilizing Guiding Questions
  • Accessing Additional Resources
  • Notification Procedures

Online Training

Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse