skip to main content

Blended Pre-Service Training Options

Customized Solutions


The FPC management system allows agencies to cluster courses together for either pre-service blended training or for a series (grouping) of courses together for in-service training. The Series Training Program is a blank slate that agencies can use to build and implement a sequence of FPC courses into clusters. Once the series is built or modified, and upon activation, the group of courses is easy to assign to parents and can be adapted for use as a blended training approach.

With the Series Training Program, the agency administrator can do the following:

  • Assemble a template using any of the FPC courses.
  • Access suggested templates of clustered courses to use or modify or the administrator can create new custom templates.
  • Organize the series as a blended training approach with a feature to include a time line for the training. The time line will organize training groups for both the cluster's viewing period and the scheduled dates for the agency's in-person meetings.
  • Add links to curriculum material.
  • Add agency-specific, localized handouts to the series courses.
  • Monitor and manage training progress.
  • Require a test after each cluster and set a minimum passing score.
  • Request retakes of clusters or cluster tests.
  • Issue certificates for trainees upon completion of the series.

The Series Training Program is often used for blended pre-service training groups yet is a convenient way to provide required in-service or annual training as well.

Research Supported

Foster Parent College and its parent company, Northwest Media, Inc., innovated the design and use of blended pre-service training for resource parents. Partnering with the Institute for Human Services of Ohio, we created 10 online courses based on their in-person meetings. These courses were developed with funding from an SBIR grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

As these courses were being developed, the idea of blended training began. Blended training was uncommon at the time, and with approval from NICHD, we revised the research design for our study under the grant to evaluate the effectiveness of the entire blended pre-service training curriculum instead of each of the individual online pre-service courses we had developed.

The research study (conducted with the State of Oregon Department of Human Services) found that the blended curriculum produced a significantly lower training dropout rate of adults preparing to become foster parents than a comparable classroom-only training program. Additionally, parents in the blended training group made significantly greater pre- to post-test gains in knowledge of the presented information than parents in the traditional classroom-only training group. While both study groups made significant gains in awareness of parenting issues, those gains were greater for the classroom-only approach. At a 3-month follow-up assessment, both groups had maintained their gains in knowledge and awareness. An article in the journal Child Welfare (Vol.93, #6, pp. 45-72), titled Efficacy of Blended Preservice Training for Resource Parents, reports on the results of this study.

This blended training approach, now known as FPC-IHS Blended In-Person and Online Pre-Service Training for Resource Parents, has been recognized by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC), where it received a "Promising Research Evidence" rating with "High" relevance to child welfare.