My Favorites

Now more than ever, individuals and families are considering how to make a meaningful difference. For some, becoming a Wheeler foster parent might be one way to make a lasting contribution in the life of a child or youth.

Wheeler is offering a 10-week virtual course called TIPS-MAPP, Trauma-Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence – Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting, to prepare prospective foster parents and families for the role of fostering a child or youth. Classes run on Monday evenings from September 14 through November 16, 2020 at 6 pm–8 pm.

“TIPS-MAPP is a journey where participants explore their values and personal connection to children. It’s a place where people learn more about the foster care system in Connecticut and gain insight into the roles, challenges, and experiences of social workers, foster parents, and most importantly, the hundreds of children in Connecticut who need loving homes and families,” said Sharon Pendleton-Ponzani, LCSW, director, Wheeler Community-based Family Services. “TIPS-MAPP participants explore loss, grief, and forms of attachment, as well as how foster and adoptive families can help a child to not only heal from abuse, neglect, trauma, and loss, but to grow and thrive.”

TIPS-MAPP is delivered by Wheeler’s dedicated team of specialists, social workers, and clinicians who work closely with foster families from the start and continue as supportive teammates throughout the fostering process.

TIPS-MAPP Course Schedule: (Classes run from 6-8 pm on Monday evenings).
Pre-registration by August 24, 2020 is required by contacting Wheeler’s Foster Care Specialists.

• September 14, 2020: Welcome – About Our Program
• September 21, 2020: A Foster Care & Adoption Experience
• September 28, 2020: Losses & Gains
• October 5, 2020: Helping Children with Attachments
• October 12, 2020: Healthy Behaviors
• October 19, 2020: Helping Children with Birth Family
• October 26, 2020: Helping Children Leave Foster Care
• November 2, 2020: The Impact of Fostering & Adopting
• November 9, 2020: Perspectives in Fostering/Adoption
• November 16, 2020: Endings & Beginnings

The program is open to prospective parents from all walks of life. Participants can be married, single, or part of a domestic partnership. They can own or rent their homes. Parenting experience is a plus but not required.

To register for Wheeler’s TIPS-MAPP course, contact Wheeler’s Foster Care Specialists, Michelle Martins at 860.707.5068, or Allison Casinghino at 860.637.5586, or send an email to Pre-registration and an application process are required, and the registration deadline is August 24, 2020.

About Wheeler’s Foster Care Programs
Wheeler’s Foster Care programs, funded by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, provide 24-hour support to families and youth. Wheeler’s programs provide a higher level of care and resources, including supports to meet the needs of children and youth and help them heal from abuse, neglect, trauma, and more. For information about Wheeler Foster Care opportunities, call 860.793.7277, email or visit

About Wheeler
Wheeler provides comprehensive solutions that address complex health issues, providing individuals, families and communities with accessible, innovative care that encourages health, recovery, and growth at all stages of life. Our integrated approach to primary and behavioral health, education, and recovery creates measurable results, positive outcomes, and hopeful tomorrows for more than 30,000 individuals across Connecticut each year. Learn more: