Resources for Parents and Caregivers

For additional resources specifically for kinship/relative caregivers, please visit the Kinship/Relative Care Hot Topic page of our website.

To access handbooks for birth parents, click here.


  • Simple Tips for Foster Parents
    In this article available on the YouthSuccessNYC website, youth author Kelly gives advice to foster parents on how to make foster youth feel accepted and welcomed into their homes.

  • Simple Activities for Children and Adolescents
    In response to Hurricane Sandy, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has created these activity sheets, which offer ideas to parents and caregivers on ways to keep children and adolescents entertained while waiting out a power outage or help youth from getting bored if stuck inside. These tips sheets provide ideas for games and activities youth can play without supplies, with limited supplies when they have light, or with limited supplies in the dark. (2012)

  • Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: A Network for Action 2012 Resource Guide
    This guide for service providers was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy—Strengthening Families.  The focus of this guide is to build family strengths through promotion of six protective factors which have been proven to reduce the risk of abuse and neglect: nurturing and attachment, knowledge of parenting and child development, parental resilience, social connections, concrete support for parents, and social and emotional competence of children.  Strategies, tools, and resources for integrating these protective factors are provided. (2012)

  • Caring for Kids: What Parents Need to Know about Sexual Abuse
    This consumer-focused resource kit, developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, and funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), contains information and fact sheets for parents, caregivers, and adolescents. The kit provides parents and caregivers with tools to help them support children who have been victims of sexual abuse, information on the importance of talking to children and youth about body safety, and guidance on how to respond when children disclose sexual abuse. Also included is advice on how to cope with the shock of intrafamilial abuse and with the emotional impact of legal involvement in sexual abuse cases. Caring for Kids provides adolescents with information about the prevalence of acquaintance rape and tips to help reduce their risk for abuse. It also offers guidance on what to do if they are a victim of acquaintance rape including disclosure, medical attention, and professional counseling. (April 2009)

  • Raising Resilient Children During Tough Economic Times
    This publication, available from the University of Hawaii at Manoa Center on the Family, presents an overview of what parents can do to create an environment that builds resilience in their children during times of economic stress or other hardships. It also presents strategies that parents can use at different stages of their children's development. (2009)

  • The Teen Years: A Road Map for Parents
    “The Teen Years: A Road Map for Parents” is a CD available free from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which contains six modules that guide parents in helping their teens face the challenges of adolescence. This resource addresses the phases of teen development, warning signs of pressured teens, scenarios for parent conversations, parenting styles and drug IQ, and includes a parenting handbook. (2006)

  • Foster Parent College
    Foster Parent College offers a variety of fee-based interactive multimedia training courses for adoptive, kinship, and foster parents.  These self-paced courses are available in the areas of behavior management, parenting strategies, and pre-service training.  Foster Parent College has been rated by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC); endorsed by the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA), the Foster Family-based Treatment Association (FFTA), and the Canadian Foster Family Association; and approved by the National Adoption Center and national Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA).

  • Life Skills Tips for Caregivers
    Published by the National Resource Center for Youth Development (NRCYD), this resource provides caregivers with tips for how they can teach youth life skills and addresses questions that caregivers may have about the process.

  • Resources to Help Youth Build Relationships with Parents and Foster Parents
    Below are some resources from Youth Communication to help youth build good relationships with parents and foster parents. Each of these web pages includes the following sections: Stories by Teens, Resources for Teens and Staff, Tips for Staff, and Helpful Links.
    Birth Parents:
    Foster Parents:
  • Healing the Invisible Wounds: Children’s Exposure to Violence
    Healing the Invisible Wounds: Children's Exposure to Violence is a resource to help parents and other caregivers understand the potential impact of exposure to violence on the development of their children. It provides practical suggestions for supporting the healing process. Recommended strategies are tailored to children based on age (birth to 6, 7 to 11, and 12 to 18) and are easily integrated into every day interactions. The booklet is available in English and Spanish and can be downloaded from the Safe Start Center website.

  • Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids about Being Online
    Published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this resource offers parents practical tips to guide their children in navigating the online world. As the guide notes, online means of interaction come with certain risks, including inappropriate conduct, contact, and content. The information that "Net Cetera" provides can help parents empower their children to reduce these risks. This free resource is available via, a Web site maintained by the FTC with support from its partners, among which is the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs.

  • Don’t Wait: Everyday Actions to Keep Kids Safe
    The most effective prevention happens before a child is harmed. Kids are immediately safer when parents and caregivers take the time to learn about sexual abuse and its warning signs. Parents and caregivers can play a crucial role in a child’s safety by making a commitment to speak up as soon as they have a concern, instead of waiting for certain evidence of harm. This tip sheet by Stop it Now! offers some things that families can do to protect children from sexual abuse.

  • Food for Thought
    Food for Thought was an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project led by Drs. Ruth Emond, Samantha Punch, and Ian McIntosh of the University of Stirling in Scotland, United Kingdom.  The purpose of this project was to develop a set of resources that builds on the findings of a previous study on food and children in residential care (Food and Care study – FaCS).  Food for Thought examined the symbolic usage of food, how food comes to stand for thoughts, beliefs, and feelings and how these can be better understood and harnessed in the care of children.  This website provides food based training, assessment, and intervention tools intended for foster parents and residential care staff.


  • Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Workshop for Resource Parents
    Many children in foster or kinship care have a history of exposure to trauma. Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Workshop for Resource Parents is a PowerPoint-based training curriculum from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network designed to be taught by a mental health professional and foster parent as co-facilitators. It includes nine case studies of representative foster children from the ages of eight months to fifteen years, as well as case studies of secondary traumatic stress in parents. With a combination of didactic information and exercises, the training can help resource parents understand the link between trauma and their children’s often baffling behavior, feelings, and attitudes. It gives resource parents practical tools to help their children move forward from their traumatic pasts, to recognize and reduce the impact of their children’s traumas on themselves, and to seek useful support from others. The workshop package includes a Facilitator’s Guide, a Participant Handbook, and a multi-part Slide Kit. (2010)


  • NCTSN Website: Resources for Parents and Caregivers
    The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) website contains the section, Resources for Parents and Caregivers.  In this section, parents and caregivers can find definitions of trauma, traumatic events, and traumatic stress; information on understanding trauma, including risk factors for developing child traumatic stress, and signs and symptoms of traumatic stress; as well as suggestions for supporting children in coping with traumatic stress.  Advice on how and where to find help, information on evidence-based treatments, and links to additional resources are also provided.

  • "Time to Talk” and “Time to Act”
    Recent research shows that less than half of teens report that their parents discuss drugs other than alcohol or marijuana with them. Time to Talk is a website sponsored by the Partnership for Drug Free America, and provides information and multimedia tools to help parents and caregivers with the often difficult task of talking about alcohol and other drugs with their children. In addition, the Partnership, in collaboration with the Treatment Research Institute, recently launched a companion site, Time to Act, “a new, first-of-its-kind resource to help parents spot signs and symptoms, have productive conversations with their teens, and find outside help if they need it.” Both websites provide straightforward, science-based information and recommendations grounded in the belief that parents are an influential force in their children’s lives.
    Time to Talk: 
    Time to Act:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Parent Portal
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created a Parent Portal to help parents find information to give children healthier, safer lives. The CDC Parent Portal organizes and presents information for parents and caregivers and provides resources from across CDC, in one location, making it easier for parents and caregivers to find what they are looking for. The Portal is a great source of credible, accurate information to help parents and caregivers raise healthy kids and provide safe homes and communities. It also is a resource for diseases and conditions that can occur, and for developmental milestones and schedules. Additionally, the Parent Portal provides information on physical activity, diet, physical and mental health, injuries and violence, peer relationships, and a special section on risk behaviors geared toward the parents of teens.

  • Human Rights Campaign – Issue: Parenting
    Human Rights Campaign provides current resources that address the many potential paths to parenthood as well as issues around LGBT youth and families in schools. The Protecting Your Family section describes a number of the documents same-sex couples can use to protect their important relationships and provide sample documents that you can download, talk over with your partner, modify to suit your relationship and then take to an attorney for completion.


Last updated 1/30/14