• Well-Being

Credit Hours: 


Normalcy Water Fight

Course Summary:

Youth in foster care often talk about feeling different from their peers. While the foster care system is intended to create safety for young people, it often can create barriers that cause young people to miss out on many rites of passage experienced by their peers. This course explores the efforts and importance to provide normalcy for foster youth.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • Definition of normalcy with consideration from a youth perspective
  • System-imposed barriers to normalcy
  • Discuss and define normalcy activities with a youth through the use of a tool
  • New policy recommendations and policy trends being considered or implemented across the country


Take the Course:

Estimated time to complete: 2.5 hours

A: Watch the #FosterClubLeaders in the video below share their perspective about how to define normalcy:

B: Read article "New Law Tells States to Seek 'Normalcy' for Foster Children" on, which discusses a law passed in 2014 that requires states to make efforts to provide foster children with normalcy: CLICK HERE
C: Read normalcy recommendations from the National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council, a group of young leaders who spent time in foster care: CLICK HERE
D: Review the article, written by guest writer Lexie Güber, providing a young person’s perspective about why normalcy matters for foster youth: CLICK HERE
E: The Teen Success Agreement, created by foster youth, is a written agreement that outlines age-appropriate activities, responsibilities, and life skills for youth ages 13-21 in the child welfare system, and how caregivers and child welfare agencies can support those goals. Take a look at this tool: CLICK HERE
F: Continue the conversation on the supportive adult forum, add a comment to course discussion topic question: CLICK HERE

Course Discussion Question

In what way could providing normalcy benefit a young person and their over all experience in care?

  • Children need normalcy in their lives to show them they are a part of the family and not an outsider. Showing them how much they are loved will help them grow into positive adults.

    By 20 hours 52 min ago
  • Kids need to live normal lives and do what kids do. Encourage sports, trips, relationships, education, visits to museums, and lots of exposure to different things in life. This will allow your kids to group up well rounded and establish relationships. Let the children be themselves and accept them for who they are. Help and educate where you can to foster good health and be a great support system.

    By 1 week 4 days ago
  • I'm someone who was a foster youth (4 placements) and is currently a foster parent. When I was in 'the system" I was in a group home, at one point. I worked for Head Start, through the Neighborhood Youth Corp (now defunct, great program!) and the home parents sought to force me, and others, to establish bank accounts with our names and their names, and we would NOT be able to access money we'd earned except with them. I told them I earned the money and did not want to have them take, effectively, complete control over it. We went to Western MA Legal Services, if we had lawyers, none of us had ever met them, lol. And it was resolved that the money would mainly go into savings accounts, but that they could only advise and not control what happened with it. It was informal. In looking back, I think it was sort of wrong on my part to stir up the stuff I did. And if it had been my parent saying this is how it is going to work, I would not have gone to a lawyer over that. I think I just really lacked trust in those I didn't know, and know well. And yes, I spent the money in some pretty mindless ways, initially, but then I fortunately came to realize, hey they were right, I SHOULD save it. I was pretty pleased when one of the youths I worked with who I discussed this with, managed to leave with over two thousand dollars they had squirreled away from various jobs. I try not to pull rank with youth, I know in order to grow, I had to live and learn, and I agree with the idea of natural consequences and the right to zone out completely sometimes, when adults are bombarding you with all that good, unsolicited advice, because some things you just need to experience directly to learn. At least it was like that for me.

    By 4 weeks 1 day ago



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