Caregiving Challenges

Whether you’re new to the world of child welfare and community wellness or you’re just facing a situation that’s new to you, we’re here to help.

Challenging Placements

Challenging placements or transitions are often a part of the fostering journey. There are a few things you can do to prepare for what comes next.

Press pause: You can tell your licensor you will not accept a new placement for a specific amount of time.

Talk it through: Check in with each person in your household. Talk about the experience with your family, share in a caregiver support group, or seek professional counseling from a family therapist.

Self-care: Do one thing you couldn’t do during the placement. Have a coffee/dinner/day date with your spouse or close friend. Complete an enjoyable project: home improvements, crafts, art, woodworking, or something else that nourishes you. 

If This, Then That

These scenarios offer caregivers a way to choose the option that best fits their current needs or combine multiple for robust support.

Focused Training

These are the top 3 trainings we recommend that offer specific skill building: ​

Parenting Teens (multi-session course)

This seven-part, sequential course helps you develop an understanding of the underlying causes of a youth’s behavior, which is one of the first steps in supporting their well-being.

Parenting the Positive Discipline Way

This series of six trainings explores tools to help you teach valuable social and life skills to children instead of using any form of punishment, rewards, praise, permissiveness or logical consequences.

Connecting: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression for Caregivers and Kinship Providers

This training will guide you in learning how to support children and youth in your care who may be questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity or who may identify as LGTBQIA+.


Mentors can help you by providing emotional support, sharing their experiences and connecting you to regional and state resources. They are experienced caregivers who are familiar with the supports and services available in your region. There are two types of mentors: generalists who can help all types of caregivers statewide find the resources and support they need for successful placements; and specialists who offer expertise specific to communities or needs. Mentors do not offer legal, medical, or mental health advice. You can find your mentor here.


The FIRST Program provides neutral advice and support to foster caregivers statewide. Licensed caregivers may experience an investigation when someone makes an allegation against them. The Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) Licensing Division (LD) has a responsibility to look into these concerns. Most investigations do not result in a finding of abuse or neglect against a foster parent. However, these investigations can be a stressful time for you or your family. The FIRST Program is here to help you. 

To learn more, visit, or call 866-393-6186 to speak to a FIRST representative.