Foster Parent Mentor Program Q&A: Empowering New Foster Parents

The University of Kentucky College of Social Work features a Q&A on its Foster Parent Mentor Program, highlighting the crucial support and guidance provided to new foster parents through one-on-one coaching relationships with experienced mentors.
Foster Parent Mentor Program Feature

Share news:

LEXINGTON, Ky. The Foster Parent Mentor Program (FPMP) at the University of Kentucky College of Social Work specializes in one-on-one, intensive coaching relationships, which provide newly approved foster parents emotional encouragement, skill reinforcement, and parenting strategies.

During National Mentor Month, mentor Diane Anderson, along with her mentee Kya Johnson, took the time to answer a Q&A about their experiences in the FPMP.

CoSW: How long have you been working with your mentor and what has been the most beneficial part of working with her?

KJ: I have been working with my mentor since August 2023. The most beneficial part has been having not only someone to provide foster care resources, but having a mother who understands me and can relate on a lot of things.

CoSW: How did you become a mentor in the Foster Parent Mentor Program and what do you enjoy most about it?

DA: I had been a foster parent for many years and my Recruitment and Certification Worker asked if I would think about becoming a mentor.  I love meeting new foster parents and helping them to navigate things.

CoSW: In what ways has your mentor helped you in your fostering journey?

KJ: She’s helped me feel more confident and provided lots of resources.

CoSW: How do you approach helping your mentees with issues they are facing as new foster parents?

DA: Usually share stories about similar situations and assure them there are no dumb questions.  It’s just a learning experience.

CoSW: How did your mentor prepare you for what to expect at placement?

KJ: She gave me her personal experience and helped me relate to her.

CoSW: Why is having a mentor as a new foster parent so important?

DA: Things are constantly changing and workers are changing.  There’s lots of real-life experiences that can’t be taught in initial training.

CoSW: What has been the most rewarding part of being a foster parent so far?

KJ: Being able to give a child a loving home and give them a sense of normal.

CoSW: What is the most rewarding part of being a foster parent mentor?

DA: Seeing people navigating the foster journey and advocating for their kids. 

For 85 years, the University of Kentucky College of Social Work (CoSW) has been a leader in social work education. As a college, we promote community and individual well-being through translational research and scholarship, exemplary teaching, and vital community engagement. We are committed to the people and social institutions throughout Kentucky, the nation, and the world. Like the University, CoSW is an organization that cultivates a diverse academic community characterized by interpersonal fairness and social justice. We are fiercely committed to developing outstanding social work professionals — leaders who will serve individuals, families, and communities through innovative and effective practices that are guided by cultural competency, systematic ethical analysis, and a keen and pragmatic understanding of the human condition.  

Foster Parent Mentor Program Feature

Foster Parent Mentor Program Q&A: Empowering New Foster Parents