"To provide top-notch training and consultation services to foster, adoptive, and kinship placement providers and the DSS staff who serve them."
Attention all Youth and Family Services Families! Are you parenting a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD? Does your child have a problem with lying? Not sure how to help your child handle grief? You can find courses to assist you at
Foster Parent College.com.
You have an opportunity to have a new learning experience. FosterParentCollege.com has come to YFS. FosterParentCollege.com offers over 35 on-line courses that YFS is prepared to cover the cost for you. Simply follow these steps:
FosterParentCollege.com and select a class that you would like to enroll in for training hours.
2- Send an e-mail to
RDtrainers@mecklenburgcountync.gov or call Nichole Gause at 980-314-4106 or
Sabrina Clark at 980-314-4145 with your selection.
3- In order to avoid you receiving a bill, Nichole Gause or Sabrina Clark will have to enroll you in the class.
4- An e-mail will be sent to you from Fosterparentcollege.com about how to activate the class.
DSS/YFS is currently working with provider agencies across the county to make training more accessible to YOU. More information coming soon!
Fostering & Adopting the Sexually Abused Child
There are more and more children being sexually harmed. It is believed that 1 in 3 children have been sexually molested. In order to meet the needs of children, it is important to be aware and begin the work of hleping children to heal from this abuse. Join us for this important series. Click here for more information.
We are excited to announce the Teen Health Connection will be presenting valuable information about the Independent Psychological Assessment. Click here for more information.
Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard training
The Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard allows foster parents to give their foster children permission to do age-appropriate activities that promote cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioral growth. All states are now required to promote normalcy for children in foster care.
Click here for the training
Multiethnic Placement Act 101 (MEPA)
Training for Foster Parents
In order to receive credit for completing the MEPA
training, foster parents will need to complete the related survey/quiz, which can be accessed through the following
TIPS-MAPP: An Overview for KINSHIP caregivers
TIPS-MAPP is an evidenced-based curriculum required in order to become a licensed caregiver for youth in DSS custody. Mecklenburg County is excited to offer this pre-service adapted for kinship providers. Click
here to learn more about what you will learn in each session and the benefits of pursuing licensure. The next training is scheduled for September 2016. Check back regularly for more details.
"EDUCATION is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
Nichole Gause, MSW LCSW has been with Youth and Family since 2001. She is has served both families and staff; however, she has found working with foster parents to be the most rewarding. She a North Carolina Certified Training Specialist. Gause is also certified in several other curriculums, including TIPS-MAPP, Love and Logic, Certified in Resource Parenting Curriculum – Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma. She stated that, “Training is an opportunity to not only learn, but to share your knowledge.”
What people are saying about Nichole:“Nichole is a very good trainer. She is very engaging with the class, very upbeat personality.”
“She kept the class very interesting, very funny.”“Nichole is an excellent trainer. She knows the subject matter well, keeps it interesting, has exceptional patience with questions and is just plain awesome.”
Sabrina Clark joined the Mecklenburg County DSS team in January 2015 as a Training Specialist, where her primary responsibilities include developing, conducting, and evaluating training programs for foster/kinship/adoptive parents. She is a dedicated social work professional who is passionate about work that serves to improve the quality of life of children, adolescents, and families, particularly those served by the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
Since 2001, she has worked with children and families in a variety of programs that are typically offered through county Department of Social Services offices and non-profit mental health agencies. Since obtaining her MSW in 2010 from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, she has been employed in roles that have allowed her to develop and present training tools and curricula for various members of the child-serving community including, but not limited to, the following: child welfare workers and supervisors, school social workers, law enforcement, juvenile probation officers, attorneys, mental health professionals, and both staff and volunteers representing the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program. She embraces life as a teacher and a learner and enjoys the training classroom from both perspectives.
What people are saying about Sabrina:“Sabrina was amazing. She could make us relate to things and understand them better than any instructor I’ve ever had.”“My trainer was great!! I appreciate everything she’s done and all her patience.”“I would definitely take this class again!! Or encourage anyone considering adoption/fostering to take Sabrina’s class.”
Foster Parent Spotlight:
Tanya and Peter Kobylarz are beyond busy these days, working diligently to meet the needs of their 5 children. The Kobylarzs became foster parents in 2011 with the vision of fostering for a couple of years and then adopting a couple of children. Peter had even entertained the possibility of fostering for 30 plus years and providing a home for hundreds of children. Today the vision is coming to reality, with two adoptions final and one in progress, while continuing to foster two more children. Tanya and Peter have not only nurtured their children, but assisted many birth parents in successfully completing the reunification process as well as maintaining relationships with previous families by providing weekend respite and other supports.
In regards to shared parenting, Peter pointed out that it is not the foster parents’ job to judge but rather to care for the kids and their families. “We treat families, like we would want our family members to be treated,” he stated. In reaching out to families, Tanya has taken pictures of special moments in their children’s lives for them, given gifts on Mother’s and Father’s Day, and found various ways to include parents in their children’s daily lives.
The Kobylarzs’ commitment to caring for kids also extends into their church. They are active with Congregations for Kids, an YFS initiative to partner with places of worship to recruit foster and adoptive parents. “Please get involved. It is the churches’ responsibility to step in the gap. There are lots that churches can do to help, like recruit foster parents, mentor, volunteer, raise awareness, and pray,” said Tanya.
When asked for their best advice to new or potential foster parents, Peter recommended that you be prepared to be flexible because of the court dates, appointments, and working with birth parents. “Support is also huge,” Tanya added. “Make sure that you have family, friends, and others that can walk with you and help you do this work.” If you are new or considering fostering, Tanya wanted families to know that “it is the hardest thing, but the best thing we have ever done.”
Lending Library... We are EXCITED to announce that we have featured books in our lending library. Click
here to view the featured books. We will be adding additional books in the future. Please contact your L& P Social Worker or
RDTrainers@mecklenburgcountync.gov to request a book.
Mecklenburg County Foster and Adoptive Parent Association
Fostering Perspectives Newsletter
National Foster Parent Association
As part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the Learning Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma offers
Free Online Education with:
Child Welfare Information Gateway
The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)
Barriers to “Claiming” an Older Child in Adoption.
The Donaldson Adoption Institute
NC Reach (scholarship information for foster care youth)
Child Welfare Information Gateway-Normalcy for Children in Foster Care
Parenting the Sexually Abused Child.pdf