Below you will find lists of approved books, movies, documentaries, webinars, etc. that can be used towards earning your required (12) hours of inservice. Don't forget to submit your hours into Optima for approval by a Volunteer Coordinator. Check back for updates!


Below you will find a list of approved books that can be used as opportunities for you to earn your required (12) inservice hours. Please keep in mind that each one may only be used once.

A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer

This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games--games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an "it."

The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer

This is the sequel to Dave Pelzer's A Child Called "It". In The Lost Boy, he answers questions and reveals new adventures through the compelling story of his life as an adolescent. Now considered an F-Child (Foster Child), Dave is moved in and out of five different homes. He suffers shame and experiences resentment from those who feel that all foster kids are trouble and unworthy of being loved just because they are not part of a "real" family.

A Man Named Dave by Dave Pelzer

This is the third and final book of Dave Pelzer's trilogy. "All those years you tried your best to break me, and I'm still here. One day you'll see, I'm going to make something of myself." These words were Dave Pelzer's declaration of independence to his mother, and they represented the ultimate act of self-reliance. Must read "A Child Called It" and "The Lost Boy" first.

An Invisible Thread by Alex Tresniowski

An Invisible Thread is the true story of the bond between a harried sales executive and an eleven-year-old boy who seemed destined for a life of poverty. It is the heartwarming story of a friendship that has spanned three decades and brought meaning to an over-scheduled professional and hope to a hungry and desperate boy living on the streets.

Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

At the heart of this story is a bastard child who observes the world around her with a mercilessly keen perspective. She finds herself caught in a family triangle that tests the loyalty of her mother, Anney-and leads to a final, harrowing encounter from which there can be no turning back.

Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck

In this remarkable memoir, the author conveys the thoughts and emotions of a young child whose parents both die during the turbulent first six years of her life.

Damaged by Cathy Glass

Although Jodie is only eight years old, she is violent, aggressive, and has already been through numerous foster families. Over time, Jodie reveals details of her abuse at the hands of her parents and others involved in sickening pedophile ring.

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons

Ellen is an eleven year old “orphan,” who is shuttled from one uncaring relative’s home to another before she finally takes matters into her own hands

Hope's Boy by Andrew Bridge

Andrew has dedicated his life's work to helping children living in the foster care system. He defied the staggering odds set against him, and here in this heart wrenching, brutally honest, and inspirational memoir, he reveals who Hope's boy really is.

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

A disturbing but entertaining memoir about the author’s abandonment by his unbalanced mother, his adoption by a neighborhood pedophile, and layers of despair that the quirky author almost glamorizes to stay sane.

For a complete list of approved books, click the link below.


Below you will find a list of approved movies, films, and documentaries that can be used as opportunities for you to earn your required (12) inservice hours. Please keep in mind that each one may only be used once.

Instant Family (2018)

A couple find themselves in over their heads when they foster three children.

Foster (2018)

Producer Deborah Oppenheimer and writer-director Mark Jonathan Harris go behind stereotypes and headlines to dispel some of the most enduring myths about foster care and those involved in the system.

Short Term 12 (2013)

Calm and competent, Grace is a young counsellor at a California care unit for at-risk teens. However, her cool facade begins to crack in the pressure cooker atmosphere as she and some of the unruly residents are reminded of past and present abuses.

Removed (2013)

A 10-year-old girl navigates her way through the foster care system, after being removed from her home and separated from her younger brother.

The Unloved (2009)

Lucy is 11-years-old and lives with her father. One day, not for the first time, he beats her. The next time she returns to school, Lucy asks to see her social worker Jackie. Lucy is known to social services and has been in foster care before, but none of her foster parents have any placements available. Jackie takes her to a children's home, Crop Row, where she is left with nothing save for the school uniform she is wearing.

The Blindside (2009)

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. As a football player and student, Oher works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle.

For more approved films and documentaries, click the link below.


Below you will find a list of approved webinars that can be used as opportunities for you to earn your required (12) inservice hours. Please keep in mind that each one may only be used once.

Surviving Challenging Behaviors: Q&A

August 19, 2019 | 12:00p-1:30p (EDT)

This webinar was created to give adults quick, easy, and simple strategies to support their child-rearing or child-educating needs regarding self-regulation, emotional literacy, and behavior management. The format will be an open Q&A session where questions will be collected prior to the event and answers shared during the event.

Understanding Children's Mental Health and How to Advocate for Services
August 27, 2019 | 12:00p-1:30p (EDT)

In this webinar we will discuss the range of mental health concerns for children and adolescents, and opportunities to collaborate to address and reduce negative outcomes for youth in care.