Who can be a Foster Parent?
Almost anyone can foster.
You can be:
Single or Married
A stay at home mom
Already parenting or have never parented
You don’t have to be:
Rich, just with enough income to be able to care for the family you have now.
A homeowner, simply have a safe home/apartment with enough room for another child.
A stay at home parent, just flexible enough with work to meet the child’s needs.
You do need to want to provide a nurturing, safe and loving environment to a child.
Who are the Children in Foster Care?
Children in foster care were removed from their families due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. The child might live temporarily with extended family, a foster family or in a group home while social workers try to help the birth family. Then the goal for a child is to work with the foster home to reunify the child with their biological family.
If the birth family’s problems can’t be resolved, the agency that has custody of the child goes to court to legally terminate parental rights. At this point, social workers try to find a safe and loving adoptive family for the child. Ages range from 4 to early adulthood, although the average age is eight. Virtually every race, ethnic group and socio-economic category is represented. Some children are in foster care alone and others are in foster care with siblings. Those most in need of homes would be children over the age of 10 and large sibling groups (3 or more).
Many foster children have been emotionally, physically, and sexually abused. As a result, they may have emotional, behavioral, mental or physical problems. Many are insecure, frightened, confused, and often angry about what is happening to them. Based on their past and the disruption in their lives, these children sometimes present challenging behaviors.
Does it cost a lot of money to be a Foster Parent?
No! Foster parents receive monthly compensation per child and:
• The child or children are totally covered for medical and dental expenses.
• There is a Resource Room to assist with placement needs such as school clothes.
• You receive free specialized training from experienced staff.
What is the difference between Foster Care and Adoption?
Foster care is the temporary care of a child whose goal is to return home. Foster parents must be willing to support foster children’s ongoing contact with their biological parents and cooperate with the agency’s efforts to reunite them with their families. The Foster parents’ direct involvement with the birth family is determined on an individual basis.
If reunification with their families is not possible the foster parent is given the choice to proceed to adoption, or otherwise prepare the child for their permanent home through adoption with another family’s help.
How do I become a Foster Parent?
The application/certification process is about a 3-4 month process. There is a 10 session/36 hour training program which covers the basic topics you will need to know to foster a child. CPR/First Aid certification is required. There is also paperwork, and background checks and references to gather. Then there is a home visit where the worker goes over health and safety issues in the home and discusses any questions you might have. A Home Study is written that assesses the potential foster family and summarizes their strengths, skills, attitudes and other qualifications that bear on the challenges of foster parenting. If you are interested in pursuing Foster Care, please call Lisa Barber Atwell at 502-893-0241 x208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long will it be before a child is placed with me?
After your home has been certified, the amount of time it takes to place a child with you is dependent on several factors. It will be dependent on the range of ages, behaviors and special circumstances you will consider. The more open you are to age range, # of children and behavior issues, the more quickly a child can be placed with you. Conversely if you are very specific and narrow in these ranges it may take longer to find a child who matches your criteria.