There is no greater reward than helping a child thrive and grow into a well-adjusted socially responsible, self-sufficient, stable adult. By doing so, you will have the joy of knowing that you changed that child's life forever.
What types of people are foster parents?
Foster parents are amazing, hard working, caring individuals from all socioeconomic, religious, ethnic and racial backgrounds.
Can foster parents work outside of the home?
Most foster parents do work outside of the home since one of the requirements of becoming a foster parent is financial stability. A child under the age of six weeks requires a stay-at-home foster parent since he/she is not old enough for daycare.
Do foster children see their biological parents during the time they are in foster care?
Most children in foster care visit their biological parents on a regular basis, usually once a week, as part of the court-ordered plan to reunite the family.
What kinds of problems do the children generally have?
Children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, abandonment or neglect have been traumatized. You will learn how to work with the behaviours they exhibit due to this trauma in your pre-service class.
What types of children are waiting to be placed in foster care?
Children of all ages, origins, ethnicity and backgrounds are in foster care. However, they share one common thread. All of these children need a loving family and a place to call home. All of the children in foster care were removed from their parents' care due to abuse, abandonment or neglect of the child by the parents. The children are put in foster care through no fault of their own. We are especially in need of foster parents who can:
care for teenagers and provide independent living training;
stay at home to care newborns under 6 weeks old;
take sibling groups, especially of mixed gender;
care for children with behavioral or mental health issues;
care for children with medical needs;
Do foster parents have a choice on the child that they take into their home?
Children are placed in foster homes by matching their needs with the foster parent(s)' or family's situation and strengths. A foster parent will never be asked to accept a foster child that he/she is not prepared to help. The foster parent selects the level of need (traditional, enhanced or therapeutic) and age group of the children that he/she would like to foster.
How many rooms do I need to have in my home to become a Foster Parent?
It's important for the child to feel that they have a space to call their own. Each child must have their own bed and must be in a separate room from the foster parent. Foster children may share a bedroom with another child of the same gender, but no child may share a bedroom with anyone over the age of 18.
How much money to I need to make to become a foster parent?
Foster parents must be financially stable. Foster parents are given a monthly board rate based on the age of the child and the level of care provided. The board rate payment is not meant to be a source of income. You must have enough income to meet your own family's needs and you will be asked to provide proof of income.
How long do foster children stay in foster care?
Foster care is a temporary arrangement for children while their parents are rectifying the situation that brought the child into care. The amount of time a child spends in foster care varies by each case. The law requires, in most circumstances, that every effort be made to reunite children with their parents as soon as it is safe for the child. If the child cannot be reunited safely within a certain period of time (12-15 months), the law requires that another permanent home be found for the child.
Is it true foster parents cannot use corporal punishment (spanking) to discipline the foster child?
Yes. Foster parents are prohibited by law from using any form of physical punishment. Positive discipline, combined with understanding and love, should be used to educate the child to conform to the standards of your family and our society. Positive discipline will be covered at length in pre-service class.
Can we take the foster child with us on vacation?
Yes. However, you must have prior arrangements approved by the Dependency Case Manager (DCM) and approval by the court for out of state travel.
Can we leave the foster child with a baby-sitter?
Yes. You will learn more about requirements for baby-sitters in your preservice training class.
What is a home study?
A home study is a collaborative effort with the family and the foster care management agency to determine if foster care will fit their family lifestyle. In the home study, the foster care licensing specialist will assess the potential foster home/family and complete a written summary on their strengths, skills, behaviors, attitudes, stamina and any other qualifications that will help the family deal with the challenges of foster parenting. The foster parents select the level of need and age group of the children they would like to foster.
What type of support is available for foster parents?
There are many different types of support available for foster parents:
Each foster child has an assigned Dependency Case Manager (DCM/caseworker) that visits the child at least once a month and assists the foster parent with obtaining services for the child and ensuring that the foster parent is able to meet the foster child's needs.
What are other options to help foster children without being a full-time foster parent?
There are many ways to help foster children such as donating goods and services to the foster children
A good way to learn about fostering, gauge your readiness to become a full-time foster parent and still help a foster child is to become a respite foster parent. Respite care occurs when a foster child stays with another family for one or more nights, usually when foster parents must go out of town and cannot bring the child with them. Respite foster parents receive the same training and license as full-time foster parents.