Working With PRIDE

The PRIDE Model of Practice Network: Information and Invitation

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Editor's Note: Children's Voice began publishing the "Working with PRIDE" column in its January/February 2010 issue. The authors, Donna D. Petras and Eileen Mayers Pasztor, were the leaders in creating PRIDE, a model of practice to develop and support foster and adoptive parents as partners in child protection. They first met and began the PRIDE project in 1991, when Petras was the state foster care director for Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and president of the National Association of State Foster Care Managers and Pasztor was CWLA's national program director for family foster care, adoption, and kinship care. They invited colleagues from around the U.S. and other countries to share their PRIDE experiences. You can read all the creative PRIDE project experiences by going to http://www.cwla.org/voice/pride.html.

This issue of the Children's Voice includes a "Lifetime Achievement" tribute to the late Helen Stone, who was a member of CWLA's staff in the 1960s and 1970s when she co-founded the National Foster Parent Association and developed the first national training program for foster parents, Parenting Plus (see page 13). The PRIDE Model of Practice is a testament to the legacy that Helen Stone established.

Please accept this invitation to read the tribute and then read the many "Working with PRIDE" articles that have been shared in the previous Children's Voice magazines. You will be inspired by the examples shared by colleagues in the U.S. and other countries. Hopefully these examples will encourage you to share your own PRIDE stories. And if you are not using the PRIDE Model of Practice, please come to one of our upcoming PRIDE trainings or invite CWLA's PRIDE team to come to your agency and help you implement the PRIDE Model of Practice there.

One of the questions often asked is, "Why is PRIDE called a 'Model of Practice'?" This is because PRIDE is more than a training program for prospective foster and adoptive parents. It is a 14-step approach to ensuring that foster/adoptive (or resource) parents:

  • have a child protection role that fits with your agency's mission;
  • are recruited commensurate with that role;
  • develop competencies in pre- service and in-service training;
  • experience pre-service training congruent with the family assessment (home study) process to determine willingness, ability, and resources to use those competencies;
  • have their licensing or certification assessment (home study) used as foundation for matching appropriate children (i.e. does the family's Eco-Map and the child's Eco-Map fit?)
  • have agency staff who are responsible for children's case planning and casework services, and those of the birth parents, work with them as members of a professional team; and
  • have the opportunity to experience transition meetings with agency administration should they leave your agency, as a means of debriefing and family and agency program support.

We enthusiastically invite you to write your PRIDE Model of Practice experience by following these guidelines: be 700-800 words in length; be written in English; include your name, title, and email and phone information; and submit electronically to voice@cwla.org.

Please check the PRIDE Model of Practice website (http://www.cwla.org/programs/trieschman/pride.htm) for information about upcoming PRIDE trainings. We offer PRIDE training in various locations around the U.S. and beyond. For more information on writing about your PRIDE experience, about upcoming trainings, and about bringing the PRIDE Model of Practice to your agency, please contact: Donna D. Petras, PhD., MSW CWLA Director of Training & Models of Practice, dpetras@cwla.org.

Eileen Mayers Pasztor, DSW, is a professor at the California State University, Long Beach School of Social Work, and continues to care for her now-adult foster and adopted children because of their special needs.

Donna D. Petras, PhD, MSW, is the Director of Models of Practice and Training Development at CWLA.

To comment on this article, e-mail voice@cwla.org.

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