The Alberta Foster and Kinship Association, in collaboration with Little Warriors, is pleased to be able to offer AFKA foster and kinship caregiver members across Alberta three new supports through a pilot program.

See below to learn more about the various portions of this exciting and much anticipated pilot program! Now taking registrations for the Group Support and Workshop Sessions!

Caregiver Support/Professional Coaching

In this part of this pilot program which is already underway, will provide a combination of specialized caregiver support and professional Coaching (with a therapist skilled in child/youth/and family therapy). 

Caregivers will work through an evidence-informed, online parenting/caregiver program at their own pace and time, while having access to a professional coach to problem solve and build effective caregiver skills. This will support compassion fatigue and develop trauma informed caregiving supports/skills.

This specialized program will run for 12 weeks, and began on March 14, 2022. 

Caregiver Group Support

These support groups aim to offer:

  • Provide small group support/psycho-educational and processing groups (online)
  • Information sharing for approximately 30 minutes, based on themes for each session
  • Provide clinical and therapeutic/coaching support for the remaining time of approximately 1 hour, to provide a space for people to express, discuss and process

To learn more about these amazing group sessions and the facilitators leading them, see below. 


Part 3 of our pilot project with Little Warriors will be underway starting on April 29, 2022, where we will be hosting two larger training sessions, separate from the weekly group support portion of the pilot. These two workshops are designed to develop deeper knowledge and enhanced effective caregiver strategies and tools to support caregiver wellness.

April 29 (9:15-11:30am) – Trauma 101: What Every Caregiver Should Know (Practical Strategies)

June 3 (9:15-11:30am) – Care For The Caregiver (Practical Strategies)

Scroll to the bottom of the page for full session descriptions and to register.

Upcoming Group Support sessions

*Please Note*

Each participant must register with a unique email address. The same email address cannot be used for multiple caregivers in a home.

We will only be accepting a maximum of 40 participants for each of the following group support sessions. 

Registrants must be members who are current and active licensed foster parents or approved kinship homes

Completed Sessions

Traditional Parenting - April 4, 2022

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Managing Stress and Ensuring Self Care

April 11, 2022 - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Basics of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and How to Apply to Self

APRIL 25, 2022 - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Understanding My Child(ren)'s Brain and How to Apply Effective Strategies/Interventions

May 2, 2022 - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Understanding Sensory Profiles and Sensory (and Emotional) Regulation

May 9, 2022 - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Love Languages Within My Family

May 16, 2022 - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Applying Collaborative Problem Solving Within Our Family

May 30, 2022 - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Understanding Differences Related to Gender and LGBTQ2S+

June 6, 2022 - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Safety and the Internet

June 13, 2022 - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

A Discussion About Suicide and Self Harming Behaviours

June 20, 2022 - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Loss and Grief

June 27, 2022 - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM


Elder Martha Campiou will be joining us for the Traditional Parenting Session on April 4th, 2022.

Martha Campiou is a Nēhiyaw (Cree) Elder from Driftpile First Nation. As an educator, she is honoured to provide teachings on traditional protocols, ceremony and culture. She is an artisan recognized for her beadwork, and leads a group of powwow dancers. Martha has long been active with the Indigenous community in Edmonton, including with the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW), and the Canadian Native Friendship Centre. She has been President of the Alberta Indigenous Games since 2011, and has ensured that the games now happen annually for the benefit of youth participating in summer sports. Martha has been acknowledged with numerous awards for the work she has done in Edmonton and region for community service and teaching Indigenous Cultural Awareness, to promote a better understanding and respect for Indigenous people. These include the Salute to Excellence award from the City of Edmonton, the Rotary Club Community Service Award, the Culture Preservation Award, the Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Award, and the Esquao Award, Culture and Spirituality, from the IAAW, which honours Indigenous women who have made positive changes in their community and who are an inspiration to others. Generous in sharing her culture, Martha builds bridges of understanding and awareness between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Melissa Jones, AFKA Executive Director, will co-facilitate this session. Melissa has many years of experience and knowledge in the world of foster and kinship care having been with the AFKA for 10 years, as well as being a bio-child of a foster family and an adoptive mom. She has training in a variety of areas, all of them converging to help her focus on application of knowledge and need for awareness, connection, appreciation, and celebration to be most effective in the daily roles we all participate in.

Dr. Wanda Polzin has over 25 years of counselling and clinical experience working with children, youth and families across various domains including Health/Mental Health and Addictions, Children and Family Services, as well as Education.

Dr. Polzin has a Doctorate of Education (EdD) in Counselling Psychology, a Masters Degree (MA) in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Clinical Social Worker. Dr. Polzin’s clinical training is multi-faceted, with specialization in Attachment, Trauma, EMDR, AAT, Neurobiofeedback, Family Therapy, Clinical Hypnotherapy, and Concurrent Addiction and Mental Health interventions. She has a deep passion and energy for working with children and caregivers, particularly in the area of attachment-based caregiving, trauma and trauma-informed care, family systems, complex case needs (dual diagnosis), evidence-based practices, supporting resiliency, and promoting wellness.

Completed Pilot WOrkshops

Care for the caregiver
(Practical Strategies)

Date: June 3, 2022 Time: 9:15 AM - 11:30 AM

This presentation will begin with a self-assessment (this will need to be done in advance for discussion) and we will look at recent evidence regarding caregiver burnout/compassion fatigue/caregiver stress syndrome, comparing that with caregiver energy and resilience. Specific resources, media sources, self care techniques and strategies will also be present in a manner that participants will be able to implement for themselves and/or others.

Trauma 101: What Every Caregiver Should KNow (Practical Strategies)

Date: April 29, 2022 Time: 9:15 AM - 11:30 AM
This presentation will explore the impacts that trauma has on a child, youth, and caregiving system. Particular focus will discuss a “neurorelational” approach to caregiving to support effective interventions to deal with behavioral concerns of children and youth, learning concerns, as well as mental health and addictions issues. We will discuss various resources and practical strategies that can be applied in your caregiving with your child(ren) and/or youth immediately.