• 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?

  • I think providing normalcy will allow the child to be more confident and to feel like a belong instead of an outsider. It will help with self-esteem and help them develop healthy relationships that could be life-long.

    By 5 hours 15 min ago
  • I think providing normalcy is imperative. I have fostered teens and pre-teens and as I read the articles in this training their faces continuously popped in my head. I remember our conversations and I remember having to tell them no a lot. I also remember their responses: I hate being a foster kid; I just want to be normal; everyone gets to. It was so frustrating as a foster parent because I knew it was hard enough for them. I think providing normalcy gives them a sense of independence and responsibility. It also makes them feel like a peer in a group of their peers instead of a subordinate or invisible in a group of their peers.

    By 5 hours 31 min ago
  • Children in care already have such huge burdens in life and are experiencing a traumatizing life change. The last thing they need is a stigma to go along with that that makes them not only different from their peers, but also less privileged. They may even feel like their placement into care is their fault. Having so many restrictions put on them in care may make them feel like they are being punished. If they miss out on normal experiences of adolescence, it could negatively affect their acquisition of life skills and their transition into adulthood, whether that happens within the foster care system or back with their families. The reason we have foster FAMILIES is because children thrive in a caring environment where responsible adults make decisions that give children life experiences where they can learn, grow, and thrive. Normalcy is an important part of that experience.

    By 1 day 6 hours ago



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