Foster Parent Resources

In the years that we considered whether to become foster parents, I read, watched, and listened to EVERYTHING I could find about foster care, adoption and parenting children who have experienced trauma.   When I became a foster parent, I kept reading, and watching, and listening!  The following are some of my favorite foster parenting resources.   Look out for updates as I add to this page.

Online Resources

I owe Shelby Redfield Kilgore a muffin basket or something.  Her two You Tube video series: (1) “Placed;” and (2) “Kismet” are truly the most real, candid, and moving  content on adoption available on the internet.  Watch them all!  And also check out her website.  In particular, I recommend the following videos if you are considering becoming a foster parent.

Teresa, a single mother, adopted her son, Darius, from foster care when he was six.  If you’re going to get an image of interracial “older child” special needs adoption from foster care in 15 minutes, this is where you’ll get it.

I also recommend you watch her son Darius’s interview.  It’s touching to hear the perspective of an adoptive child and as well as an adoptive parent and Darius is so eloquent and poised.

Veronica’s words will stick with me forever.  As the filmmaker states in her description of this episode, although “[s]ome [adoption] stories might lean towards the positive side, while others may end up more negative than desired….It is important to share ALL stories of adoption, whether they are in a positive light, a negative light, or somewhere in the grey zone.”  Veronica’s story helped (and continues to help) me to support my foster son’s mixed feelings towards “adoption” and his biological family.  Thank you, Veronica.  Your strength and poise is so incredible.  I will never forget your story.

This interview by David Hoffman for Santa Cruz California Family & Children’s Services is truly magnificent in every sense of the word.   This young woman’s candid account of her experience in foster care is both gut-wrenching and inspirational.  I learned so much from her about how what to do (and what not to do) as a foster parent.


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Really, foster parents should read everything ever written by Dr. Bruce Perry.  But his classic, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog, should be required for licensing.  I still re-read chapters for reference when working through a tough foster parenting day.

The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog

Dr. Karen Purvis’s The Connected Child is the considered the Bible on bonding with your foster or adopted children.

The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family by [Sunshine, Wendy Lyons, Cross, David R., Wendy Sunshine]

One of our kiddo’s behavior coaches recommended the book, “1-2-3 Magic” by Thomas Phelan.  Admittedly, I don’t do (or need to do) everything in the book.  However, the concepts are great and our behavior coach was a GENIUS CHILD WHISPERER so I take everything she says as gospel.

1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting by [Phelan, Thomas]


Tim and Wendy’s Foster Parenting Podcast isn’t updated regularly anymore, but their archived episodes are pure gold.

I listened to every episode of Adam and Matt’s Foster Adoption Podcast about 50 times.  Then played it for my husband.  This couple is amazing and of all of the foster parent’s I’ve met and listened to; I related to their journey the most.

Foster Adoption Podcast

I am forever grateful for what Mimi and ABM (short for “Adopted Black Mom”) are doing to promote foster care and adoption within communities of color in their podcast, Add Water and Stir.  Their candid podcast on adoption from foster care is relatable to everyone; but, more so than many other resources, I find them to be particularly sensitive to adoptee voices.  In addition, as a white foster mom, I think they are doing so much to educate the foster care and adoption community on issues of race and ethnicity within the community.  I, for one, have learned so much from them and became a better foster mother from listening to their podcast.

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