In April 2021, the TFYHI Caregiver Consultant Group welcomed several new members, bringing the total membership to 10. In addition to getting to know each other, the Caregiver Consultants have been working to identify strategies for TFYHI to support foster parents and caregivers.
Caregiver Consultants brainstormed ways to support a fictional foster mother, Meredith, through common challenges.
Key messages the Caregiver Consultants want other foster parents and caregivers to hear include:
- It’s okay not to know all the answers!
- It’s okay to be uncomfortable – it doesn’t make you less capable of supporting a young person.
- You have the responsibility and the opportunity to have these important conversations with young people in your care.
Key messages the Caregiver Consultants want youth to hear include:
- I am here to support you.
- I will not judge you.
- You are valuable and worthy, and you deserve to feel that.
- You should not feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to do.
Caregiver Consultants identified the following strategies for the TFYHI Communications team to implement:
- Caregiver Online Message Board, where foster parents can connect, support each other, and share resources
- FAQ and Resource Listing, where foster parents can quickly search for information or strategies
- Conversation Starters, or tangible strategies for foster parents to start conversations with youth in their care about these topics
- Social Marketing Campaign, encouraging foster parents and professionals to have conversations about sexual health and relationships with youth in their care and directing foster parents toward TFYHI resources