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March 30, 2022

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A FOSTER CARE
OR ADOPTION AGENCy

The Knowledge You Need as You Begin Your Journey

Before You Begin

Depending on where you live, there may be many options for foster care or adoption agencies. And you may feel overwhelmed by the process of choosing an agency.

First, let us congratulate you for deciding to foster or adopt. By beginning this journey, you are one step closer to changing a child’s story. And while it may not be easy, you will make a significant difference in the lives of others.

Choosing an agency is a personal decision, so we cannot recommend which one you should work with. However, consider doing the following steps as you prayerfully begin your search.

Contents

Chapter One

Initial Research for an Agency

Each state runs its child welfare system differently. Therefore, the first step in becoming a foster or adoptive parent is learning what kind of system operates in your state. This initial research will reveal your options as you search for foster care or adoption agencies.

Getting Started

You may have already completed the first step in choosing a foster care or adoption agency: initial research. If not, this is done simply by a quick search on Google. Search for “foster care agencies in my state” or “adoption agencies in my state.” 

As a result of your initial research, you can form a list of private and public foster care and adoption agencies near you. Keep in mind that the options available to you will depend on your state. Additionally, look for agencies that are close to where you live. Many agencies serve a geographical area. So it is essential to know an agency’s location. 

Once you have selected several agencies to research, read their “About Us” statements. It will tell you about their history and mission. Additionally, their vision statements will give you an idea about the types of organizations they are. Finally, do not forget to look at who is leading the organization.  

Indeed, the time you take to research foster care or adoption agencies will not go to waste. The information you gather about agencies near you will simplify the entire process.

Chapter Two

State vs. Private Agencies

Foster care and adoption from foster care is managed at the state level. In other words, each state may manage its child welfare system differently.

Note: While many families can choose between a state or private agency, some states do not provide this option. You must research what kind of system operates in your state.

Definitions and Differences

Every state in the U.S. has its own state child welfare office. Ultimately, the state agency has custody of all the children entering foster care. State agencies have the authority, according to state statutes, to license foster and adoptive families.

Public agencies are operated by and staffed with state employees. In contrast, private agencies are staffed with individuals who report to the organization. Private organizations are run by chief executive officers who report to a board.

Private foster care and adoption agencies are private businesses. Consequently, they must apply with the Secretary of State to be approved as an agency. Then, the Secretary of State determines whether an agency can conduct foster care business, adoption business, or both.

Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to working with the state agency or a private agency.

On the one hand, state agencies have legal custody of children in foster care. As a result, the state agency is more familiar with the children and cases. However, the state does not have unlimited resources. A state caseworker may have 25 or 35 cases on their load. Because of this, you may experience communication delays.

On the other hand, private foster care and adoption agencies tend to be managed on a smaller scale. Therefore, a social worker at a private agency may be quicker to respond to your questions or concerns. In addition, a private agency may prioritize relationships. A private agency may work harder to get to know you and your family.

Despite these pros, there are potential cons to private agencies. Above all else, make sure that your potential agency is not attempting to bend any state rules. Although they are a private business, private agencies must still uphold the spirit and the letter of the law.

Things to Consider

If you have the option to choose between a state or private agency, consider the following factors: 

  • Location. Which agency has an office closest to your home or place of work? Being near your selected agency may be a pro for you.
  • Relationship. Do you value relationships? If so, consider whether the agency will get to know you. Some agencies prioritize building relationships with their families while others do not.
Social Worker Relationship Foster Care Agencies
Values Faith-Based Foster Care Adoption Agencies
  • Values. Does your faith motivate your decision to foster or adopt? If so, you may want to work with an agency that shares your values. Consider researching faith-based agencies near you.
  • Cost. There are some fees that a family will have to pay regardless of their agency. However, there may be additional fees with a private agency. Ask about the costs of foster care or adoption when speaking with potential agencies.

What’s the Best Fit for Your Family?

Ultimately, only you can decide which type of agency is the best fit for you and your family. Do your research about state versus private foster care or adoption agencies. After that, go and listen to informational meetings.

If you have a choice between a state or private agency, get to know the people you will be working with. Take into consideration whichever factors may be important to you. For example, look at a potential agency’s location, values, costs, and focus on relationships.

It is possible that your state will not have the option of public versus private agencies. If this is the case for you, spend time in prayer as you learn about the option available to you. Most importantly, do not be dismayed if the type of agency you want to work with is not available in your state. Regardless of the agency you work with, God can still use you and your family to make a difference in a child’s life.

Chapter Three

Selecting a Foster Care Agency

Prospective foster parents deserve to have all the information necessary when selecting a foster care agency. Read below to learn how the foster care process works. After that, look over the 10 questions to ask potential foster care agencies. Finally, learn what steps to take after choosing an agency.

Understanding the Foster Care Process

Foster care, by nature, is designed to be a temporary caregiving arrangement. Children enter foster care because of abuse or neglect. This temporary arrangement provides an opportunity for the child(ren)’s birth family to resolve safety issues.

Each state is required by law to provide family-like settings in which children can be cared for. Similarly, foster care agencies must meet their state’s licensing standards for Child Placement Agencies (CPA). These agencies may be public or private.

10 Questions to Ask Foster Care Agencies

When selecting an agency, consider doing your homework by asking a few questions. Getting answers to the questions below can help you evaluate the agency’s program. With all the necessary information, you can make the best decision for your family.

1. What steps are part of your agency’s process? 

Make a list of specific steps you have questions about. For example, you may want to know more about the orientation, application, or classes. You may also have questions about the home assessment/home study. Then, ask the estimated time frames involved for each step. For instance, how long does it typically take to become certified/approved to be a foster parent?

2. Can you tell me more about your license?

Make sure the agency is licensed. If you are interviewing a private agency, ask them when the last time was that the agency was visited by a representative from the State’s Licensing Division.

3. Have any complaints been filed against your agency?

If so, how were they resolved? In most states, the licensing file is available for inspection (by appointment).

4. Can you tell me more about the staff’s education, background, and experience in foster care?

You will work closely with the agency, so it is crucial that you feel comfortable with their employees. As you learn about the staff, consider how they make you feel. Are you satisfied with their experience? Do they make you feel comfortable? 

5. What reunification services does your agency provide to birth parents?

You should evaluate the agency’s completeness and sensitivity of this work. Additionally, consider the role you as a foster parent will play.

6. What are the costs?

Ask about anticipated costs. Specifically, ask about fees for the application, home assessment/home study, home certification, CPR & First Aid certification, and the review of pet vaccination. The agency can inform you of other potential costs.

7. What support services does your agency offer for foster families?

Ask if the agency facilitates support groups or offers post-placement services such as respite care. Undoubtedly, support is critical for foster families. Unfortunately, many quit within the first year due to a lack of support. However, knowing your support options beforehand can help prevent burnout.

8. Can we speak with any current foster parents?

If possible, get connected with other foster parents. Ask about their experience with the agency. They may also be able to share their own tips or suggestions. Finally, these parents might be able to help connect you with community groups.

9. What kind of training is provided and by whom?

Ask how many hours of training you must complete and where training takes place. Requirements can vary based on your situation and the agency you choose. Also, clarify whether both you and your spouse must attend the training.

10. What expenses do you cover once a child is placed in the home?

Ask specific questions about how you will receive financial compensation for caring for a child.

3 Steps to Take After Choosing a Foster Care Agency

Once you have selected a foster care agency, stay connected with the agency as you move through the process.

1. Maintain regular contact and complete the necessary steps.

Communicate any questions or concerns you might have throughout the certification process. At the same time, be proactive about completing and submitting paperwork. While you may be waiting at times for your agency to complete steps, it is ultimately your responsibility to keep the process moving.

2. Keep a journal and track your progress.

If you have questions along the way, write them down in a journal. At the same time, as you attend training and meetings, you can add information to the notebook or journal.

3. Connect with and stay linked with other foster parents.

Certainly, a community of support is necessary for new foster parents. If your agency does not facilitate support groups, look for them yourself. Seek support groups through a local church or an online search. See Chapter Five: Finding Community and Support for more ideas.

Chapter Four

Selecting an Adoption Agency

Prospective adoptive parents deserve to have all the information necessary when selecting an agency. Read below to learn how the adoption process works. Then, find 7 questions you should ask your potential adoption agency. Finally, learn what steps to take after choosing an adoption agency.

Understanding the Adoption Process

Adoption is a lifelong process for parents and children. Therefore, it is important to choose an agency that can help you assess your readiness to adopt. Additionally, your chosen adoption agency should have the expertise to help you through the process.

Child placement agencies must meet the licensing standards for Child Placement Agencies (CPA) to provide adoption services. While some CPAs are dually licensed to be a foster care and adoption provider, others are licensed to provide only foster care or only adoption. 

Completing a personal evaluation before selecting an agency will generally lead to positive results. The following points may be helpful as you consider choosing an adoption agency:

First, learn about adoption and the issues involved.
  • Read books and articles on adoption
  • Attend an adoptive parents group
  • Talk to other adoptive parents
  • Attend agency orientation and information meetings
Next, determine the type of adoption you are interested in pursuing.
  • Adoption from foster care or private adoption
  • Infant or older child
  • Domestic or international
  • Designated or tradition. Whereas the former means the birth parents and the adoptive parents have chosen each other, the latter means your approved application is in a waiting pool of families for children relinquished to the agency.
  • Open or closed. While an open adoption means that there is some contact with the birth parent(s), ranging from an exchange of letters and meeting on a first name basis to more involvement, a closed adoption means there is no contact. 
  • Special needs or minimum problems. A special needs adoption may include emotional problems or mental or physical disabilities. 
Finally, contact the agencies and learn about their program.
  • Ask about any requirements/restrictions on adoptive parents such as length of marriage, age, etc.
  • Read brochures on their program
  • Attend orientation/information meetings

7 Questions to Ask Adoption Agencies

Unsurprisingly, there are many similar questions that someone should ask an agency whether they are interested in fostering or adopting. However, if you specifically seek to adopt, your questions will be geared with permanency in mind. Consider asking the following questions to help you evaluate the agency’s program and make the best decision for your family.

1. What steps are part of your agency’s process?

Make a list of specific steps you have questions about. For example, you may want to know more about the orientation, application, home assessment/home study, or parenting classes. After that, ask the estimated time frames involved for each step. For instance, how long does it typically take to become certified/approved to be an adoptive parent?

2. Can you tell me more about your license?

Make sure the agency is licensed. If you are interviewing a private agency, ask them when the last time was that the agency was visited by a representative from the State’s Licensing Division. Additionally, if you plan to adopt from another country, ask whether the agency is authorized to facilitate international adoptions.

3. Have any complaints been filed against your agency?

It is important to know whether there have been any issues with an agency in the past. So, be bold in asking about former complaints. And if there have been complaints, ask how they were resolved. In most states, the licensing file is available for inspection (by appointment).

4. Can you tell me more about the staff’s education, background, and experience in adoption?

You will work closely with the agency as you move through the adoption process. Therefore, it is crucial that you feel comfortable with the staff. Equally important, you want to feel heard and supported. 

5. What are the costs?

Ask about anticipated costs. Specifically, ask about fees for the screening, orientation meeting, home study, supervisory visits, court reports, educational groups, services to and expenses in connection with birth parents in designated adoptions, extra work in connection with interstate placement, extra personnel and services in international adoption, and other possible expenses. In addition to this, obtain written detailed information on all costs involved, including the agency’s refund policy.

6. What support services does your agency offer for adoptive families?

Ask if the agency facilitates support groups or offers post-finalization services. Undoubtedly, support is critical for adoptive families. Unlike foster care, which may be temporary, adoption is a permanent arrangement. Thus, you will want to have continuous support in place. 

7. Can we speak with any adoptive parents?

If possible, connect with other adoptive parents and ask about their experience with the agency. These families may also be able to shed light on the support and resources the agency provides. Without a doubt, a firsthand account of an agency from another family can provide you with a helpful perspective.  

Steps to Take After Choosing an Adoption Agency

After choosing your adoption agency, keep in regular contact with them. But also be realistic with the staff’s time. The timeline for adoption varies by situation, so you should remain flexible. 

If you have a complaint or concern, talk honestly to the person you are working with. The next step is to speak to the director if their response is unsatisfactory. If this does not resolve the problem, you may file a complaint with the State Licensing Division in your state.

Adoptive families need support before, during, and after finalization. Stay connected with your agency so that you can be informed of any community events they host. You can also reach out to them if you want help making connections with other adoptive families in your area. See Chapter Five: Finding Community and Support for more ideas.

Chapter Five

Finding Community and Support

The journey to becoming a foster or adoptive parent is not easy. Unfortunately, children in foster care or children who have been adopted have experienced trauma. As a result, parenting a child who has experienced harm or trauma comes with unique challenges. For your sake and the sake of the children in your home, you need a support system.

Seeking Community Through Foster Care/Adoption Agencies

Along your foster/adoption journey, you should seek support. First, check with your agency. Perhaps you inquired about support groups when you were researching foster care or adoption agencies. If not, now is the time to ask. In any case, do not hesitate to get connected with other families through your agency. 

Foster/Adoptive Family Ministries

Another great place to find support and community is through your church. Tap into your church’s foster/adoptive family ministry if one exists. However, if your church does not have a ministry, look for other foster and adoptive families in the congregation. While you may not have the time or energy to facilitate an entire ministry, consider getting to know the other families in your church who can relate to your journey. It may be refreshing to share stories, encourage one another, and pray for each other’s families.

How to Talk About Your Journey with Friends and Family

If you have not yet started on your foster/adoption journey, share with your loved ones what the process will look like. In the beginning, give people the chance to ask questions and learn more about foster care or adoption. At the same time, you can assess which people in your life are engaged with your journey. Likely, these people will be your most significant source of support. 

Perhaps you have already started down the road towards fostering or adopting without a support system. Nevertheless, you can still get the support you need. First, use your words. Begin by telling your friends and family how they can help you. For example, perhaps you need respite care, help with laundry, or just someone to lend an ear. Then, as time goes on, you can continue to share more about your journey. Not only does this ensure you can find support, but also it provides the opportunity for others to learn about foster care or adoption. 

Chapter Six

Additional Resources

Whether you are actively searching for an agency or just starting the process, there are countless resources to help you along the way. Indeed, you can never have too much information or encouragement. 

Focus on the Family Referrals

Note: 

Referrals to websites not produced by Focus on the Family are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily constitute an endorsement of their content (including what you might find through their links). 

More Information

For more information about Focus on the Family’s foster care and adoption efforts, visit WaitNoMore.org

WNM Foster Adoptive Family

About the Author

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Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you!