What is PS-MAPP?
PS-MAPP provides a structural format by which prospective foster and adoptive families make decisions about their ability, willingness and readiness to participate in the foster care and adoptive program. An important decision for families is to determine their desire and ability to work as partners in permanency planning. Making an informed decision requires that families assess their current skills as parents and their ability to develop the skills necessary for success in fostering or adopting.
The 10 sessions (called meetings) are just one of several preparation and mutual selection components that comprise the program. Each component is designed to enable participants to develop ability and skills to be effective and satisfied foster parents or adoptive parents, as well as to assess their willingness and readiness to assume the roles. Additionally, the components provide the agency with information for the family’s decision-making.
The PS-MAPP Program is designed to help prospective adoptive and foster families develop five abilities that are essential for foster parents to promote children’s safety, permanence and well-being:
Foster and foster/adoptive parents will be able to meet the developmental and well-being needs of children and youth coming into foster care, or being adopted through foster care.
Foster and foster/adoptive parents will be able to meet the safety needs of children and youth coming into foster care, or being adopted through foster care.
Foster parents will be able to share parenting with a child’s family.
Foster parents will be able to support concurrent planning for permanency.
Foster and foster/adoptive parents will be able to meet their family’s needs in ways that assure a child’s safety and well-being.
These goals are supported through a mutual selection process which emphasizes open communication and trust between prospective foster families, adoptive families and child welfare workers, using common criteria for assessment and a problem-solving approach to areas of concern.
As the needs of children in foster care and adoptive placement continually grow more challenging, persons wishing to become adoptive or foster parents need a complete understanding of their roles along with the rights and obligations that accompany the delivery of foster care services. For foster parents this partnership requires fulfilling tasks as diverse as helping a child go home or becoming that child’s adoptive parent.
The PS-MAPP Program approach emphasizes shared decision making, problem solving and mutual selection, all of which are integral to building mutual trust and teamwork.
What is Deciding Together?
Deciding Together is a program to help families make an informed decision about becoming foster or adoptive parents while also preparing them for the role of foster or adoptive parents.
The Deciding Together program recognizes that prospective foster and adoptive families know themselves and that agencies know children. The program combines the expertise of the family and the agency to facilitate mutual decision-making. Leaders work with parents on a one-to-one basis during seven consultations to make a mutual decision about the family’s readiness to become a foster or adoptive family.
As part of Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP), Deciding Together promotes teamwork among foster parents, adoptive parents and agency staff. It also promotes a partnership among foster and adoptive parents and birth families to support children’s connections to their past. The members of this partnership recognize the needs of children and work together in the children’s best interests.
Deciding Together can be used with families who cannot participate in a group process because of their schedules. Deciding Together will also adapt to meet the needs of rural or small agencies that may only have one or two applicant families a month. Deciding Together is flexible enough to meet the needs of the family and the agency.