Training from The Foster Care Institute now available

December 11, 2020

Starting this year, all foster, adoptive and kinship parents in Colorado can access free personal and professional development training online through The Foster Care Institute. The Foster Care Institute offers over 55 online webinars and nine ebooks on a variety of topics related to foster care. 

"We wanted to provide a broader range of accessible training topics that would be useful to for foster parents at all levels of experience so they can continue to increase their knowledge, skill sets, and expertise," said Mary Griffin, Program Administrator for Foster Care and Relative Guardianship Assistance for the Division of Child Welfare (DCW), which is making the training available at no cost to parents.

All foster, adoptive and kinship parents should have received an email to access the training at The Foster Care Institute. After logging in with the password provided, foster and adoptive parents and non-certified kinship caregivers can access over 55 webinars under the Speaking/Training tab. Individuals should check their spam or junk folders for the email from The Foster Care Institute, as it may be sent there. Those who have not received information about how to access the training can email Dr. DeGarmo at and let him know that they are a foster parent, adoptive parent or kinship caregiver located in Colorado. 



“About six years ago, my wife needed hours, and we recognized there was a great need for quality training that could be accessed online. We knew we could make something better,” said Dr. DeGarmo, who had already been speaking and doing in-person training about foster care at the time.

Dr. DeGarmo and his wife, Dr. Kelly DeGarmo, have been foster and adoptive parents for 17 years, and have cared for more than 60 children and youth. In addition to being an experienced foster parent, Dr. DeGarmo also holds a doctorate in foster care studies and combines research and data with his personal experience in his training materials. In addition to providing training and speaking about the foster care system, Dr. DeGarmo is a consultant to foster care agencies and child welfare organizations. Dr. DeGarmo has also authored several foster care books, including “The Little Book of Foster Care Wisdom: 365 Days of Inspiration and Encouragement for Foster Care Families” and he contributes to several publications.

“We get positive feedback from foster parents that they love the webinars because they are realistic, reasonably paced and they are coming from another foster parent,” said Dr. DeGarmo

Each webinar is one hour or less and is worth one credit hour toward training. Certificates can be accessed under the More/Special Member Benefit tabs. DCW will allow up to 10 credits of this online training from The Foster Care Institute towards recertification requirements, as long as the certifying agencies allow it based on their training policy. Parents are free to access as many hours of training modules as they choose for their personal development.

 “We ask for new topics from foster parents and many of the webinars we have were requested by foster parents,” said Dr. DeGarmo.

The training opportunities dive into both general topics, such as important terminology and trauma-informed parenting, that are applicable to all parents and more specific topics that address specific behaviors and treatment needs that children and youth in foster care may have, including such as biting, stealing, lying, fire starting, sleep disorders, eating disorders and Reactive Attachment Disorder. 

The trainings are available for free through June 30, 2021. All users of The Foster Care Institute training are encouraged to provide feedback regarding the quality and service delivery of the training materials.  Users who wish to provide feedback on the training may email Mary Griffin at

Foster parents, adoptive parents and kinship caregivers, may also access training through the Child Welfare Training System (CWTS) free of charge. 

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