What are the prerequisites to becoming a foster parent?
You must be 21 or older, have no severe health problems, own or rent your home, and be financially capable of providing for yourself and another.
What is the process for becoming a certified foster parent?
Attend a foster care orientation or information meeting in your county.
Complete comprehensive home study
Pass background checks and home inspection
Complete training classes (including first aid and CPR)
Wait for placement!
Will I be paid as a foster parent?
Yes, foster families receive monthly stipends, which vary by county and child, to help reimburse your expenses.
What is the financial cost of foster care and adoption?
Fostering is essentially free. The county covers all training and certification costs and provides a monthly stipend to reimburse your expenses. Foster-to-adopt is also free through the state. Private adoption agencies cost thousands of dollars. There is a small, one-time cost for purchasing your own home study in order to be able to adopt through the foster care system in multiple counties.
What are the responsibilities of a foster parent?
To care for the child as if they were your own. This includes transportation to appointments, visitations, and more. You must collaborate with a caseworker and the child’s family members. Most importantly, you are responsible to care for the child in such a way that fosters safety, love and growth in their life.
What factors can I preference in foster placements?
You can preference age, gender, and number of children. Foster parents are never obligated to take in a placement, and can always decline.
May I take the child to church?
The child may attend church activities if they so choose and at their parents’ discretion. You may pray with and for the child, but are not permitted to try to convert the child.
How long do foster placements last?
The length of stay depends on the parents’ casework and progress. The goal of foster care is reunification, so ideally the child only stays as long as is necessary for their parents to achieve stability and be deemed capable of caring for their own child again. Thus, placements can last from a few days, to months, or even more. If parental rights are terminated at any point, then the child will be placed in an adoptive home, if possible
If I am looking to foster to adopt, how does that affect my home study?
If your goal is adoption, you may want to consider paying for a home study through a private agency rather than receiving a free home study through your county of residence. This way, your home study is transferrable to any county in your state, so you are eligible to adopt more legally free kids than just those in your county of residence.
How can I be involved if I am not ready to foster or adopt?
Support foster families with meals, clothes, etc.
Become a certified respite family
Help with household tasks, mowing lawn, etc.
Be a financial support to foster families and organizations
Advocate for foster care and adoption in the community
Have more questions? Contact Jaalah Neerhof for more info!