Parent Resource for Information, Development, and Education (PRIDE) Class

Once all of the paperwork was submitted we toddled off to PRIDE classes.  PRIDE took up all of May. PRIDE classes are mandatory and must be completed before the home study can begin.

Here is the course outline for PRIDE:

  • Connecting with Foster Care: What, Why, Who, and How?
  • Being Part of a Professional Team for Permanency Planning
  • Meeting Developmental Needs – Attachment
  • Meeting Developmental Needs – Loss and Grief; Strengthening and Continuing Family Relationships
  • Meeting Developmental Needs – Discipline, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, & Shaken Baby
  • Behavior Management – Intervention Techniques
  • Sexual Abuse Awareness
  • Planning for Change and Making an Informed Decision
  • Psychotropic Medications
  • Red Cross First Aid and CPR Training and Certification

Classes were every Tuesday and Thursday evening for the month of May, and one Saturday.  Several agencies group together for PRIDE, which makes economic sense for them and made the process more fun for us, as we got to meet other folks going through the process and see how it was done at other agencies.  Our facilitator, Angela, was awesome – she had worked at CPS and is now at an agency so she had lots of inside knowledge from both ends of the spectrum. And our class was full of lively folks from all walks of life.

The content and homework skips the basics of parenting and dives into the deep end of what foster kids many have experienced when they arrive on your door step and what special or unique parenting issues you may therefore face. The hardest classes by far for me were the shaken baby class and sexual abuse.

The demonstration for shaken baby was dramatic and IMHO should be part of every high school health class.  They put an egg in a glass jar and snapped it – once. Of course, the egg smashed.  And that is what happens in a baby’s brain. For one second of rage, you get a catastrophic life injury, assuming baby survives at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are many circumstances that can take you to the end of your rope as a parent; but really, put the baby in a crib (or on the floor), close the door, and walk away. While this is not a long term solution, it can mean the difference between life and death for your child. Just walk away and call someone.

Then there was the sex abuse class.  It is hard for me to imagine how on earth someone can violate an infant or child in such horrific ways (and in so many horrific ways). But the statistics are sobering.  The estimate is in the neighborhood of 80 percent of kids that pass through Child Protective Services will have experienced some form of sexual abuse.

Even more troubling is the realization that victims can easily become offenders (especially without treatment) as they age. Once you understand that, and realize that few perpetrators are prosecuted, and those that are receive little to no treatment while incarcerated, so that when folks have done their time, the recidivism rate is off the charts, one begins to understand why there are so many sex crimes in our society.  This left me feeling so helpless.  Clearly, we need better treatment, but we also need to intervene before a child becomes a victim. Because it is so unclear whether any form of rehabilitation works…of all the vicious cycles that trap generations in our culture, I think this is the one that grieves me the most.

Anyway, there was so much more to PRIDE than I can say in one post. I guess it can best be summed up by saying that PRIDE got us thinking about (1) lots of issues that most families, I pray, never face; or (2) that many of our friends, as parents, only think about when they get there (as in, when you are pregnant, you are not necessarily thinking about your house rules and discipline policy; but when you can receive a child from birth to age 5 you better be ready for).

8 thoughts on “Parent Resource for Information, Development, and Education (PRIDE) Class

  1. JustMe August 25, 2009 / 8:08 am

    Hi, I just came across this and read your post about sexual abuse. You are so right. Thankfully, the majority of people who DO tell and receive prompt and healthy care, do not go on to offend. That is the good news. But the scary part is that offenders will go to any lengths to keep the child silent, whether that includes threats, rewards, religion and so forth. Roughly only 10 percent of children disclose (which of course means 90 percent do not.) There is a children’s book on the market, very tastefully done, and written child to child to encourage children it is safe to tell, and moreso, when they do tell, someone will help them. To date, it has helped many children. It addresses the threats and religious aspect of the offender’s hold on children as well, in a way that children of all faiths, or no faith, will feel comfortable reading. It is the first in a series of four. Entitled David’s Sword, it is endorsed by a top medical sexual abuse expert, a psychologist, a police detective and others who are directly involved in helping survivors of sexual abuse. The second in the series is David’s Shield, and that is written expressly to help the siblings overcome what has happened to their family, and to address the myriad of feelings and dynamics involved for the family. There are two final books in the series. This second book is in publishing now. The author desires to donate a copy of each of the four books in the series to every capitol city Dept. of Human Services in the US to reach as many children as possible.

    Thank you again for this post. By the way, I like the name of the blog; it says “desperately searching for a new name” but this one sounds just fine! Warm regards.

  2. Mom August 25, 2009 / 9:34 am

    Very, very interesting post. It is upsetting that we have to learn these things, but anytime we are informed we are likewise enlightened and empowered. The multitude of abuse is staggering and sad. We are so truly blessed with our family’s legacy of love and caring.

    @ JustMe — thank you for your addition and including the names of the books being written for the children who need is so very much.

  3. Common Loon August 25, 2009 / 11:07 am

    Knowing adults that had such a childhood, and watching these adults who never got help struggle to find EVERYTHING, who struggle with lives of lies and false relationships…and then to watch them struggle as parents…very easy to see how difficult it is to break and stop the cycle, and how IMPORTANT it is to intervene!!! Fostering is such a blessing for these families, and I hope when you have a rough day you are able to recall some of your PRIDE perspectives and get encouragement. You guys rock!

  4. Common Loon August 25, 2009 / 11:21 am

    ooooo….I would take issue with #2. The problem at many weddings is that the couple focused all of their energies on the day and not the marriage. I think that with children, hopefully only half the people focus either on the pregnancy or the “baby trappings” (toys, carseats, furniture, etc.) and don’t come up with a parenting plan. The plan is just as important as any pre-marital work, and that is why public schools are overtasked trying to compensate for the folks who have not invested in really raising their kids.

    Now, the one advantage of having kids since birth: kids are energy drains (not meant to imply that is always negative). Although a pregnant lady thinks it can’t get worse, it does. But those all-nighters are with a baby that cannot give any sass or do any real damage. You and hubby will jump from zero to 90, without years of acclimation. Yes, have your plan ready, and in the meantime, sleep at every single opportunity, enjoy hot food and the opportunity to sit down to eat an entire meal!!!

  5. Eileen August 25, 2009 / 10:28 pm

    @ JustMe – glad you found us and THANKS! for the resources. I am so grateful that so many folks have shared resources with us to help prepare and educate us…it really does take a village.

    @CL – it took me a while to figure out what #2 was (and I wrote the post 😉 I agree that too many people do LOTS of things in this life with little to no forethought or planning and I am glad this process is pushing us to think and plan, but…

    I think what I meant was there are some things that I imagined happening more organically or evolving as our family grows and ages…some of the issues we are “planning” around seem so abstract and child specific. I feel a little silly figuring out how I am going to age appropriately discipline a child I do not have and have not met, but hey the best laid plans 🙂

    But I appreciate the encouragement to enjoy our sleep and meals. We have and will continue to.

  6. Common Loon August 25, 2009 / 10:36 pm

    You’re right, and that would frustrate me, too. Guess folks are trying to ensure that foster families at least have a plan to stray from lest the kids find themselves in another unhealthy environment (generally the result of strong emotions and no plan). Your kids are going to be so lucky and happy to have you!

  7. JustMe August 31, 2009 / 4:19 am

    You’re welcome; thank you too!

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