Training offered for foster parents, caregivers

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Foster parents and family-member caregivers of kids in Washington have a new option for required training.

The Department of Social and Health Services has created a resource library in collaboration with counterparts in Alaska and Oregon and a nonprofit organization, Northwest Resource Associates.

The DSHS Resource Family Lending Library distributes books, DVDs, tapes and all its resource materials to caregivers in Washington via a free mail-order service, similar to the type used by popular movies-by-mail companies.

Materials are mailed in an eco-friendly reusable pouch with postage prepaid for the return of materials.

Licensed and relative caregivers of children can request materials from the library by calling toll free to 877-517-0820 or online atwww.dshs.wa.gov/ca/fosterparents/index.asp.

Catalogs are also available to view at selected DSHS offices. For more information about the lending library or the library materials e-mail zoca300@dshs.wa.gov.

A comprehensive 168-page catalog featuring more than 1,000 titles covering a range of childcare and caregiver issues is available in PDF format at the Web site. The catalog includes a Spanish language section and books written and media produced for children and teens who are adopted or are in foster or kinship care.

Many of the materials found at the lending library can be used toward the training requirements of state-licensed foster parents. Foster parents are required to complete 36 hours of training every three years.

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