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Orientation and Training

Goodhue County Social Services requires anyone interested in becoming a foster parent to attend an orientation session.  Orientation will provide you with an overview of the foster care program along with information on the licensing and placement procedures.  Application packets are available at orientation.  Orientation will be provided on at least a quarterly basis throughout the year. 
Orientation will provide you with an overview of the foster care program, including how kids come into foster care.  The licensing requirements and process of becoming a foster parent will be covered in this training.  Additional information will be provided for on-going trainings.  Please bring the assessment tool to the orientation that is located on the Licensing Requirements page.
Orientation will be held at Goodhue County Social Services, 426 West Ave., Red Wing.  Please call Dayle at 651-385-3232 if you are planning to attend an orientation class.

Foster Care Orientation

Pre-registration is required.  Call Dayle at 651-385-3232 to register for the class.


The Minnesota Department of Human Services requires that prior to licensure, an applicant obtain 6 hours of pre-service training.  Once you are licensed, each adult care giver in the household must complete 12 hours of training per licensing year.  Some of the trainings are mandatory.

Mandatory Pre-Service Training Requirements:

Children and Mental Health

This training will cover the following topic areas:

  • Causes, symptoms and key warning signs of mental health concerns in children
  • Effective approaches for dealing with a child’s behavior
  • Cultural considerations in children’s mental health
  • Common uses of medication

Training will be held at Goodhue County Social Services.

Pre-Service Training
This training is available in three options.  The first option is to select a minimum of two classes offered through Olmsted County Social Services’ Foster Adoption Kinship (FAK) Series.  There are 12 classes available in this series.  The second option is to contact a private agency to complete the 2 day class.  This class touches on each of the topic areas addressed in the FAK series.  It is the most appropriate option for any family that is also interested in adopting.  The third option is to complete 12 hours of training available on the Goodhue County website. Your home study will not be started until the pre-service training requirement is completed.

The class schedules and registration information is available at:

                Olmsted County FAK classes
                Pre-Adopt/Foster Care class
On-Line Training
Below are free on-line trainings that may be used to fulfill the on-going training requirements.  These trainings are found at

  • Behavioral Challenges in Foster Care with Gary Benton.  Learn about handling challenging behaviors in children.  (59 min)
  • Behavior management ages 11-18 with Wendy Warman, MSW.  This video deals with behaviors of children experiencing emotional distress.  (2 hrs 27 min)
  • Brain Development and Nurturing Children’s Growing Minds with Victoria Tennant. Learn how the brain works and how you can enhance the growth of a young mind. (5 hrs 20 min)
  • Bright Futures in Preventative Mental Health with Mickey Kander, MSW, MPH. This is a curriculum developed by the University of Washington to address the mental health of children in care. (4 videos, 3 hrs 38 min total)
  • De-escalation Techniques in Foster Care with Gary Benton. In this workshop, Gary Benton helps us to develop skills to bring the tension down with children in care. (59 min)
  • Effects of Multiple Placements on Youth in Care with Dinah Martin, MSW Multiple placements can lead to a lack of bonding on the part of a child in that circumstance. Learn how to prevent multiple placements. (2 videos, 4 hours total)
  • Extreme behavior and associated mental health issues with Sharon Young, LMFT. This workshop will help you understand mental health issues that can impact youth. (4 videos, 3 hr 43 min total)
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Related Conditions with Carolyn Hartness and Julie Gelo. Learn how to structure your home to accommodate the needs of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. (4 hrs 30 min)
  • Fire Safety for Young Children Learn how to keep young children safe in a fire with Ed Burgado (9 min). Part of keeping kids safe is making sure that they know what to do in a fire. This video should be viewed, not only by you, but by the children in your home. It could save their life! En Espanol
  • Keeping it Real.  A film about the importance of cultural connections for African American children in non African American homes (41 min)
  • Hair Care for African American Girls (50 min)
  • Hair Care for African American Boys (5 min)
  • Physically Aggressive Youth - Learn what you need to know to help your child deal with physically acting out behavior and to create a safe and nurturing environment. (1 hr 11 min)
  • Sexually Aggressive Youth - Learn what you need to know to create a safe and nurturing home for children who have displayed sexually acting out behavior (1 hr 13 min)
  • Trauma and Children with Ross Dawson, MSW and Dr. Harry Kramer. Learn about trauma and how it effects children, especially in the post 9/11 era. (1 hr 25 min)
  • Working with ADHD and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders with Randi Hankins. Randi is a dynamic speaker who delivers information with humor and compassion to those dealing with ADHD and FASD. You will learn a great deal in this workshop on how to improve the environment for children with these issues. (4 videos, 5 hrs 5 min total)


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