Frequently Asked Questions

About Us and Our Courses

How long have you been in business?

Will your training be accepted by my Agency, Licensing Board, etc.?

Do you offer "D-Rate" or "F-Rate" courses?

How do you keep your prices so low?

Will you sell my information to marketers, spammers, or others, or bombard me with emails or calls?

What are your hours of operation?

Do You Speak Spanish?

 

How Do I Become a Foster Parent?

How can I become a Foster Parent?

 

Ordering Courses

How Can I Pay For My Courses?

Is it Safe to Enter My Credit/Debit Card or Checking Account Information On Your Website?

Can I Mail in Payment if I Don't Want to Enter Payment Information Online?

How Soon Do I Get Access to My Purchased Course(s)?

How Can I Find Out More Information About a Course?

I Don't Have a Credit/Debit Card -- Can I use a Relative's or Friend's Card?

My Spouse and I Both Need to Take the Training -- What Do I Do?

Do I Need an Email Address?

My Credit/Debit Card Keeps Being Declined -- Should I Keep Trying Again and Again?

Do You Offer a Billing Option for Agencies That Pay For Their People's Training?

 

Taking Courses, Tests, and Obtaining Certificates

How Long Do I Have to Take My Purchased Course?

Can I Print the Course Material Out to Study Later or Away From the Computer?

How Do I Get to My Course to Read the Material?

How Do I Take the Test After Reading the Course Material?

When I Click to Take the Test, Nothing Happens -- What is Wrong?

How Many Test Questions Can I Miss and Still Pass ?

How Do I Get My Certificate?

I Received My Certificate, but Then I Lost It -- Can I Get Another?

 

Getting Help

Help -- I Need Somebody . . . !

 

 

About Us and Our Courses

How long have you been in business?

We have been providing online information to foster and adoptive families, social workers, and others involved in the care of children since 1994 -- when the Internet was in its infancy. We have been providing our online training in its current form since 2003.

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Will your training be accepted by my Agency, Licensing Board, etc.?

If you are an already licensed foster parent -- Almost certainly. Virtually every jurisdiction accepts our training to meet the annual training requirements for foster parents. If you have any doubt, you should check with your Agency.

If you are becoming an adoptive parent -- Very possibly. Many adoption agencies accept our training. You should check with your Agency to find out for sure.

If you are trying to become a foster parent -- Perhaps, but probably not. Most Agencies require the initial training of foster parents to be done live -- in person -- not online. However, some do allow online training, at least in certain circumstances. You should check with your Agency.

If you are a social worker needing continuing education -- Our training is accepted for social worker continuing education in at least 30 states. For a complete list, see here. We do not recommend that you take our First Aid/CPR course, or the courses in our Health and Medical Issues section for social worker continuing education, however. But that still leaves about 120 courses for social workers to choose from (including three Ethics courses)!

If you are a day care provider, nurse, counselor, teacher, etc. -- Maybe. We have had all of those professionals successfully use our training in the past. But it depends on where you are. You need to check with your specific licensing authority to find out if they will accept our training.

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Do you offer "D-Rate" or "F-Rate" courses?

Yes! Because the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services is the only entity to use those particular names, we do not call them that on our website. However, courses that deal with behavioral issues (for example, any of our traumatized children courses, ADHD, autism, etc.) will count as "D-Rate," and courses that deal with medical issues (for example, our medically fragile children course) will count as "F-Rate" courses.

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How do you keep your prices so low?

We work very hard to keep our prices as low as possible, yet still provide extremely high-quality online training. If you like our courses (and we are confident that you will) -- please, tell a friend.

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Will you sell my information to marketers, spammers, or others, or bombard me with emails or calls?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. We greatly value the privacy of our customers. Under no circumstances do we EVER sell or give your information to marketers, spammers, or anyone else. We do use a billing company for processing our credit/debit card and online checking orders, but they also NEVER sell or give your information away. We do not even use your information for our own marketing purposes. You will NEVER get a telemarketing phone call from us, and the only way you will ever get a marketing email from us is if you specifically sign up for our email announcement list, which you can do here if you so choose. People who choose to sign up for our email announcement list will receive an email from us whenever we add a new course (usually about 10 per year) or occasionally if we have something important to announce (generally a few times per year at most). If you later change your mind, it is easy to remove yourself from our email announcement list.

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What are your hours of operation?

For ordering and taking courses and obtaining certificates, we operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The large majority of our customers can do everything they need to do right on our website, at whatever time is most convenient for them. If you need assistance, however, we are more than happy to help. Help is usually available 7 days a week, 365 days a year. However, help is NOT available 24 hours a day (we need to sleep occasionally!). You can email us or contact us through the website (explained below) 24 hours a day, but please do not expect an immediate response if it is in the middle of the night! We will respond to such emails in the morning.

We have several ways that you can easily request help:

Send us an email. You can send an email to barbara@fosterparents.com at any time. You can also reply to any email you receive from us (such as the automated receipts you receive when you place an order). We constantly check emails during the day. Often you will receive a response within minutes, and almost always you will receive a response within an hour or so. Because we are a small company, occasionally none of us are at a computer -- therefore, sometimes (though not often) it may take several hours to receive a response. We appreciate your patience.

Use the "contact us" link on our website (or click here). This sends us an email with the information you enter on the form. Therefore, the response time is the same as for emails.

Give us a call. Our telephone number is (818) 998-4462. We are usually available from about 9 am to 11 pm PACIFIC TIME (we are located in Los Angeles, California ). PLEASE do not call in the middle of the night (and especially all you fine folks located on the East Coast, please remember the time difference (it is 3 hours earlier here than by you) and do not call us first thing in the morning your time!). If you get our answering machine, please leave a message. We will call you back. However, PLEASE remember to leave your phone number, your name, and a brief description of what you need. Please speak slowly and clearly and spell your name. Sometimes we get messages with no identifying information, or information that is completely indecipherable even after we listen to the message 5 times or more. We can't call you back if we don't know who you are. There is no need to leave your order or transaction number -- we can look your order up from your name.

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Do You Speak Spanish?

Unfortunately, none of us speak more than a smidgeon of Spanish, so we cannot provide customer service in Spanish. We do, however, offer a small (but growing) number of courses in Spanish. For a list of such courses and to order, click here.

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How Do I Become a Foster Parent?

Because the states and agencies differ so much in requirements and procedure, it is impossible to maintain that kind of information. What we always advise anyone interested in becoming a foster parent is to look up your local children's social services department in the government section of your phone book, give them a call and ask them their procedure. It usually starts with an orientation meeting that relates all the information needed to get the "ball rolling." We would also like to encourage you to read some of the articles in our article section and to join us on the foster care message boards (http://www.fosterparents.com/forum.htm).

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Ordering Courses

How Can I Pay For My Courses?

We accept all major credit and debit cards -- VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We also accept checks -- you can simply enter the routing and account numbers from the bottom of your check on our secure website, and your check is processed electronically, with no wait.

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Is it Safe to Enter My Credit/Debit Card or Checking Account Information On Your Website?

ABSOLUTELY! We use a major billing service to process our credit/debit and checking transactions. They have been certified as PCI DSS compliant by a Qualified Security Assessor, as verified by VISA and MasterCard. All payment information is entered on a secure, encrypted site. We have NEVER had a security breach.

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Can I Mail in Payment if I Don't Want to Enter Payment Information Online?

You sure can (although we really do recommend using our online ordering system, which is very secure -- that way you get immediate access). To order courses by mailing in a check or money order, make payable to FCAC and mail (along with a list of the courses you are ordering) to:

FCAC
9909 Topanga Canyon Bl. #278
Chatsworth, CA 91311

Once your check has been received, you will be emailed (so please include your email address with your check) the site to take your chosen course(s). Please print your information legibly. Please note that if your bank fails to honor your check due to insufficient funds, we will charge you a $25 returned check fee. In such a case, you authorize us to represent your check electronically or via paper draft, including the returned check fee.

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How Soon Do I Get Access to My Purchased Course(s)?

If you order our courses online, whether by credit/debit card or online checking, you get access to your courses immediately. As soon as you place your order, you will be told that your order was successful, and to "click here to continue." Once you do so, you will be on a page with links to each of your courses. Click a link, and you will be at the reading material. You can save that in your "bookmarks" (or "favorites" on some browsers) to make it easy to return.

In addition, we will automatically send you two emails within seconds of your order. The first is a receipt, and the second (with a subject line of "FCAC Training Links") has links to each of your courses all the way at the bottom of the email. Some email programs and/or internet service providers may block this second email (with your course links) as "spam." So if you only received the receipt, try looking in your "junk" or "bulk" or "spam" mail folders for the second email. If you can't find it anywhere, just let us know -- we are happy to send you new links to your ordered courses.

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How Can I Find Out More Information About a Course?

If you click on any of the course titles on our list of courses, a window will open up and provide a description of that course. Please note that the course titles do not look like links -- they will not change your mouse pointer to a hand. But they are links, and will open the window with the course description if you click on them. If you click on them and nothing happens, you may need to shut off your pop-up blocker. Click here for more information about pop-up blockers.

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I Don't Have a Credit/Debit Card -- Can I use a Relative's or Friend's Card?

Absolutely! When you place an order, you must enter the name on the card you are using, and the billing address associated with that card. If the name is completely different than the name of the person who will actually be taking the course (i.e., different first and last names), please enter the name of the person taking the course in the "Miscellaneous Information" box on the ordering form. After you have read the material and are ready to take the test, you will fill out a short form (name, email address, etc.) -- that is the name that will appear on the certificate. So enter your name there, NOT the name of the person whose credit/debit card you used.

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My Spouse and I Both Need to Take the Training -- What Do I Do?

No problem! There are two possible ways to proceed, depending on your agency's requirements.

If your agency will accept a joint certificate -- for example, "John and Mary Smith" -- then the two spouses can read the material and take the test together. When you are ready to take the test, enter "John and Mary" for the first name, and Smith for the last name. Then, once you pass the test, your certificate will read "John and Mary Smith."

If your agency requires separate certificates, then you each must take the test. When John Smith takes the test he enters his name, and when Mary Smith takes the test she enters her name. Then you will get two certificates, one in each name.

Please note that regardless of which of the above options you choose, all of our prices are "per person." Thus, if two people will be obtaining a certificate (whether jointly or on separate certificates), you must purchase two copies of the course. You can easily do this by changing the quantity to two on the screen you will see immediately after selecting your course(s). You must then click the "modify cart" button before the "checkout" button for the quantity change to take effect.

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Do I Need an Email Address?

Yes. Your order cannot be processed without an email address. However, there are many free mail services available on the internet. Two popular ones are Yahoo.com and Hotmail.com. If you don't have an email account, simply sign up for a free one before placing your order with us.

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My Credit/Debit Card Keeps Being Declined -- Should I Keep Trying Again and Again?

NO! If your order is declined, read the reason why. It is often because you are making a typo, such as in the account number, the expiration date, or are entering an invalid email address (such as janesmith@yahoo.om). Another error that some people make is in the "Country" box on the order form. Some people misread that as "county," while others accidentally choose UN (United Nations) rather than US (United States).

If you see the problem, try again. If you are entering the information correctly, but are still being declined, there are two main possible reasons. One is that something about your order appears suspicious to our automated billing service's system. For example, if you enter your billing address a little too differently from the way your bank has it in their records, your order might be declined. Or, it may be your card issuer that is declining the transaction. Either way, you might want to try a different card.

Once you have been declined more than three times in an hour on one card (or more than five times in an hour on any number of payment methods), our billing system locks you out, so no matter how many more times you try, even if you correct the original problem, it won't go through. Please contact us if you are having difficulty -- we are happy to help, and can usually quickly resolve the problem.

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Do You Offer a Billing Option for Agencies That Pay For Their People's Training?

We sure do! We provide an exclusive web address for your agency where participants may go to order their courses at no charge to them. Order information is stored in a database and at the beginning of each following month a list of participants (specifying the dates and courses ordered) and an invoice is emailed to your agency contact person for payment. There are no setup or administration fees, or monthly minimums. The cost to you is simply the cost of the specific courses ordered by your people, and we also give you a 10% discount off of our regular, posted prices (which are very low to begin with -- almost all of our 136 courses cost just $4.95-$8.95 per 2-4 hour course, although a few specialty courses cost a bit more). It is a very cost effective way for agencies to bring convenient, high-quality training to their resource families and staff.

We are contracted with numerous agencies, counties, and the States of Mississippi and Oklahoma to provide online training at no cost to their Resource Families. Here is a quote from one of our contracting agencies "Thank you for this awesome opportunity that we have to receive quality, relevant training at an affordable price. This is such a critical need for non-profit agencies such as ours."

For more information, please email or give us a call.

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Taking Courses, Tests, and Obtaining Certificates

How Long Do I Have to Take My Purchased Course?

Your course links will expire in fourteen days. However, if you are unable to complete your courses by then, it is not a problem -- just let us know, and we will send you new links to your ordered courses. The easiest way to let us know is to reply to your receipt email.

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Can I Print the Course Material Out to Study Later or Away From the Computer?

Absolutely! One of the many advantages of our courses is that you can print out the material for future reference. Of course, you may not distribute the material to others.

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How Do I Get to My Course to Read the Material?

As soon as you place your order, you will be told that your order was successful, and to "click here to continue." Once you do so, you will be on a page with links to each of your courses. Click a link, and you will be at the reading material. You can save that in your "bookmarks" (or "favorites" on some browsers) to make it easy to return.

In addition, we will automatically send you two emails within seconds of your order. The first is a receipt, and the second (with a subject line of "FCAC Training Links") has links to each of your courses all the way at the bottom of the email. Some email programs and/or internet service providers may block this second email (with your course links) as "spam." So if you only received the receipt, try looking in your "junk" or "bulk" or "spam" mail folders for the second email. If you can't find it anywhere, just let us know -- we are happy to send you new links to your ordered courses.

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How Do I Take the Test After Reading the Course Material?

Down at the bottom of the reading material, you click on any part of the two sentences beginning with "Click here to take ................. test." Please make sure you do not have a popup blocker enabled. If you actually click on the sentence (it does not look like a link, and it will not turn your mouse pointer to a hand, but it is a link) and it didn't do anything, then you have a pop-up blocker enabled. Turn it off (for help with that, read the next question and answer), and click on the sentence again. It will work fine.

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When I Click to Take the Test, Nothing Happens -- What is Wrong?

If you actually clicked on the sentence beginning with "Click here to take ................. test" (it does not look like a link, and it will not turn your mouse pointer to a hand, but it is a link) and it didn't do anything, then you have a pop-up blocker enabled. When you click on the sentence to take the test, we need to open a new window for the test. A pop-up blocker prevents that from happening. Turn it off, and click on the sentence again. It will work fine.

How to turn off your pop-up blocker depends on your exact browser. Generally, when you click on the link and nothing happens due to a pop-up blocker, you will see a message somewhere on your browser that the pop-up was blocked. This might be a horizontal yellow bar towards the top of your browser, or it may be elsewhere. If you click on that notification, you will be given options, including "allow pop-ups from this site." Choose that, and click on the sentence again.

Also, on many browsers, holding down the Control ("Ctrl") button on your keyboard while clicking on the sentence will allow the pop-up.

In the unlikely event you continue to have difficulty, simply contact us. We are always happy to help.

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How Many Test Questions Can I Miss and Still Pass ?

A passing score on all of our tests is 80%.

If you do not pass the test, you may take it over again, as often as necessary (at no additional charge), until you do pass. However, each time you must take the entire test. We do not give out hints on any test question, and we do not tell you which questions you missed in order to maintain the security and usefulness of the test.

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How Do I Get My Certificate?

Immediately after you complete a test, you will be given your score and told if you passed. If so, you will be told to click for your certificate. Then click "Download or Print."

You will see your certificate right on your screen. You can print it from there, or download it to your computer as a .jpg file (just like a picture from a digital camera) by right-clicking (press the right button on your mouse) and choosing "save this picture [or image] as." Once you have downloaded the certificate to your computer, you can print it, store it, or email it to whomever you like.
If you still can't find it, don't worry -- every certificate is stored in our database and may be retrieved by you 24/7. You just need to know the exact first and last name and email address you entered when you started the test. On our main ordering page (with the list of all of our courses), towards the top to the right of the instructions, look for "Retrieve Lost or Misplaced Certificates" and click on the appropriate year. Or for the current year, simply click here. Enter your name and email address and click the button. A list of your certificates will be shown. Click on whichever one you want, and then click "Download or Print," and you will see your certificate right on your screen as explained above.

If you cannot find your certificate using the above procedure, it means that you are not entering your name or email address exactly as you did when you took the test. For example, you might be entering "Mike" instead of "Michael." Or you might have made a typo when you took the test. Regardless, do not worry -- even if you can't find it, it is there. Simply contact us and we will be happy to find it for you.

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I Received My Certificate, but Then I Lost It -- Can I Get Another?

Absolutely! We store every certificate in our database, which can be accessed by you 24/7. You just need to know the exact first and last name and email address you entered when you started the test. On our main ordering page (with the list of all of our courses), towards the top to the right of the instructions, look for "Retrieve Lost or Misplaced Certificates" and click on the appropriate year. Or for the current year, simply click here. Enter your name and email address and click the button. A list of your certificates will be shown. Click on whichever one you want, and then click "Download or Print."

You will see your certificate right on your screen. You can print it from there, or download it to your computer as a .jpg file (just like a picture from a digital camera) by right-clicking (press the right button on your mouse) and choosing "save this picture [or image] as." Once you have downloaded the certificate to your computer, you can print it, store it, or email it to whomever you like.

If you cannot find your certificate using the above procedure, it means that you are not entering your name or email address exactly as you did when you took the test. For example, you might be entering "Mike" instead of "Michael." Or you might have made a typo when you took the test. Regardless, do not worry -- even if you can't find it, it is there. Simply contact us (click here) and we will be happy to find it for you.

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Getting Help

Help -- I Need Somebody . . . !

For ordering and taking courses and obtaining certificates, we operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The large majority of our customers can do everything they need to do right on our website, at whatever time is most convenient for them. If you need assistance, however, we are more than happy to help. Help is usually available 7 days a week, 365 days a year. However, help is NOT available 24 hours a day (we need to sleep occasionally!). You can email us or contact us through the website (explained below) 24 hours a day, but please do not expect an immediate response if it is in the middle of the night! We will respond to such emails in the morning.

We have several ways that you can easily request help:

Send us an email. You can send an email to barbara@fosterparents.com at any time. You can also reply to any email you receive from us (such as the automated receipts you receive when you place an order). We constantly check emails during the day. Often you will receive a response within minutes, and almost always you will receive a response within an hour or so. Because we are a small company, occasionally none of us are at a computer -- therefore, sometimes (though not often) it may take several hours to receive a response. We appreciate your patience.

Use the "contact us" link on our website (or click here). This sends us an email with the information you enter on the form. Therefore, the response time is the same as for emails.

Give us a call. Our telephone number is (818) 998-4462. We are usually available from about 9 am to 11 pm PACIFIC TIME (we are located in Los Angeles, California ). PLEASE do not call in the middle of the night (and especially all you fine folks located on the East Coast, please remember the time difference (it is 3 hours earlier here than by you) and do not call us first thing in the morning your time!). If you get our answering machine, please leave a message. We will call you back. However, PLEASE remember to leave your phone number, your name, and a brief description of what you need. Please speak slowly and clearly and spell your name. Sometimes we get messages with no identifying information, or information that is completely indecipherable even after we listen to the message 5 times or more. We can't call you back if we don't know who you are. There is no need to leave your order or transaction number -- we can look your order up from your name.

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