As with most in-person programs, changing to a virtual format has been more than necessary to continue providing services amidst a global pandemic.
One such program from the Office of Foster and Adoptive Support and Training, the Medically Complex Training Program, is no exception. Housed within the University of Kentucky’s Training Resource Center, the Medically Complex Training Program provides training to resource parents in Kentucky caring for children in out-of-home care with complex medical needs.
In keeping with the commitment to provide training and resources to foster families, including those wishing to care for children who are medically complex, the program transitioned into a virtual environment. In mid-May, the Medically Complex Training Program held its’ first virtual Join Hands Together Training for medically complex foster parents, an overall success with 70 trainees in attendance.
One training participant said, “I became the medically complex liaison over a year ago…after being an ongoing worker for 5-6 years. If you all are recording these, it would be a GREAT resource for ongoing workers to see as well! I wish I had some of these trainings years ago. Thank you for doing them!”
The Join Hands Together Training is typically an in-person training lasting almost 7 hours. Foster parents are required to attend this training in order to become medically complex foster parents. But the added benefit of switching to a virtual platform allowed Lisa Casebier, Medical Foster Care Specialist, to split the training into two days.
“When we switched to a virtual training, we decided to have two days of training, Part I & Part II, with one training being 3.75 hours and one 3 hours. This way foster parents did not have to sit in front of a computer for an extended period of time,” Casebier explained.
Casebier said they also had two offerings for Part 1 and two offerings for Part II, allowing foster parents the option to choose the time that best suited them. The training was held in the Zoom Webinar format, allowing attendees to hear and see the presenter, respond to polls throughout the training, and gave them the ability to ask questions throughout with the Chat and Q&A features. The plan is to continue providing virtual trainings every other week using the more interactive Zoom Meeting format.
“The panelists answered questions as they came in and the presenter was able to continue with the presentation,” Casebier said. “There was no lag time in the attendees getting their questions answered.”
Casebier, in addition to being Medically Complex Training Program Coordinator, was also the training’s presenter. Casebier has been in her position for a little over 7 years, having worked as the Director of NICU and NBN at Frankfort Regional Medical Center for 3 years and as a nurse at the University of Kentucky’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 16 years previously.
The panel consisted of Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) Nurse Administrators, Mary Thompson and Alice Scheffler.
The mission of the Medically Complex Training Program is to provide training to resource parents in Kentucky caring for children in out-of-home care with complex medical needs.
Since 2003, the program has developed, coordinated, and conducted this type of training for foster/adoptive parents and social service workers statewide. The guidelines for training content are established by the CHFS DCSB Standards of Practice, as well as Kentucky law.
For more information about the Medically Complex Training Program, visit https://socialwork.uky.edu/office-of-foster-and-adoptive-support-and-training/ or contact Casebier at 859-257-5162 or Lisa.firstname.lastname@example.org.