National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families
The Director's Corner
As we celebrate National Foster Care Month, we honor
the foster parents across the country that have compassionately opened
their hearts and homes to children in need. As rewarding as being a
foster parent can be, it does bring with it a unique set of stressors.
Foster care agencies can support foster parents in addressing some of
these stressors by offering healthy relationship education. Most foster
parents are required to participate in continuing education classes as a
requirement of licensing.
Offering training in healthy relationship skills such as
communication, conflict resolution, parenting, and financial education
as a training option ensures caregivers not only have the skills needed
to reduce stress and strengthen their own relationships, but also the
tools to model these healthy behaviors for the children in their care.
The Office of Family Assistance funds healthy marriage and
responsible fatherhood programs throughout the country that provide free
relationship education workshops. Visit the new Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood website to find out if there is a program in your community.
Below are some additional tips and resources to assist you in
developing a plan for integrating relationship education into your
current service delivery system. If you need additional guidance, let us
help. The Resource Center provides free training and technical assistance.
Robyn Cenizal, CFLE
Tip of the Month
Your monthly tip to strengthen the relationships of those you serve. Share it - Post it
- Pass it on!
Some of the risk factors for child maltreatment leading to
foster care are also the same factors that place youth at higher risk of
experiencing unhealthy or unsafe relationships. Here are a few ways
communities and agencies can help strengthen the relationships of
1. Relationship Education Workshops: Integrate healthy
relationship education classes or workshops into Independent Living
programs for older youth aging out of foster care. See our Partnerships page for potential partners in your area or our Curricula page for free and low-cost relationship education curricula.
2. Healthy Relationship Mentoring: Encourage adults who
spend significant one-on-one time with at-risk youth (e.g., case
workers, mentors, Court Appointed Special Advocates, relative and foster
caregivers) to discuss and model healthy relationship skills and
3. Family Relationship Strengthening: Use established, family-centered practices that build on existing family strengths, such as Family Group Decision Making, to model interpersonal relationship skills and integrate healthy relationships into family case planning.
The Resource Center's Virtual Library
more than 700 materials in a variety of formats including fact sheets,
research-to-practice briefs, brochures, pamphlets, training
resources, program reports or evaluations, and research materials.
Select the links below to view our featured May resources:
- Building Strong Parenting Partnerships (Tip Sheet)
This tip sheet reviews the concept of parenting styles, including
two key elements of parenting: parental responsiveness (i.e., warmth or
supportiveness) and parental demandingness (i.e., behavioral control).
The Resource Center's Events Calendar offers
a listing of Resource Center events and other national, regional, and community-wide events that might be of interest. Upcoming
The Office of Family Assistance, through its Healthy Marriage and
Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) efforts will be hosting a free live Expert
Panel webcast, Toxic Stress in Low-Income Families: Understanding Long-Term Effects
on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at 1:00 PM EST. This moderated discussion
will bring together preeminent, nationally recognized experts and
practitioners to describe toxic stress, how exposure to childhood toxic
stress can have life-long consequences as adults, and how practitioners
and community-based organizations are working to prevent toxic stress
exposure in children and ameliorate its effects on adults, strengthening
families and communities. Register for this
Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) 2014 National
Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development in Minneapolis,
MN, June 8 - 11, 2014:
NAEYC hosts the National Institute for Early Childhood Professional
Development, a conference designed for all early childhood
professionals, including leaders who prepare, mentor, and support early
childhood professionals, as well as program administrators, teacher
educators, trainers, teachers, and researchers. Participants explore the
expanding early childhood knowledge base, developing skills that
improve professional preparation and practice, and discuss effective,
active learning approaches for adults. Opportunities exist to reach
attendees via an exhibit or through advertising in the final program.
The Resource Center will be exhibiting at this conference.
Feedback and Technical Assistance:
If you have suggestions or wish to speak with a Resource Center staff member, please
contact us and we will be happy to assist you. If you would like to
request Technical Assistance, please submit a Training and Technical Assistance
Request Form and our Technical Assistance Coordinator will contact you.
To learn more about the Resource Center visit us at www.healthymarriageandfamilies.org
The National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families
service providers as they integrate healthy marriage and relationship
education skills into service delivery systems as part of a
comprehensive, culturally appropriate, family-centered approach designed
to promote self-sufficiency.