Child Placement • Foster Care Services • Adoption Services • Foster Parent Support & Training
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What is Foster Care
Children who are legally removed from their biological families because of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment enter foster care. These children are placed with licensed foster families who provide for the children’s needs and offer them a safe and stable home until permanency is achieved.
The primary goal for each child who enters foster care is to be reunified with his/her biological family. The length of a child’s stay varies depending on the child’s plan for permanency. Placement can last a few months or several years. If a child is unable to be reunified with his/her biological parents and/or relatives, the child’s need for foster care continues until an adoptive home is located.
When accepting a child for placement, foster families make a commitment to that child to provide a home, nourishment, clothing, and understanding. Additionally, foster parents provide children with support, encouragement, and love.
Do you have to be married to become a foster parent?
Single parents are welcomed. We are an inclusive agency .
Do I have to own my own home to become a foster parent?
You do not have to own your own home to be a foster parent.
Your place of residence must comply with all applicable fire, health and safety laws, ordinances, and regulations. You must be able to provide the minimum required living space specified by Residential Child Care Licensing.
Are there costs associated with becoming a foster parent?
Yes. Foster parents are responsible for all costs accumulated during the verification process. Costs include FBI fingerprinting, Health Inspection, Fire Inspection, TB exam(s), CPR/First Aid Training, etc.
Once verified, foster parents will be reimbursed for the cost of FBI fingerprinting completed during the verification process as well as their initial CPR/First Aid training costs.
Following the placement of a child, foster parents will receive foster care subsidies to aid in the care of the child. This reimbursement is to cover costs associated with raising a child such as food, clothing, toiletries, academic expenses, and extracurricular activities such as sports, music, and dance. Foster care reimbursement is received the 9th day of the month following a child’s placement.
Additionally, Star Health through the Superior Health Network provides health care for foster children. Infants and toddlers are eligible to receive WIC benefits.
How long does it take to become a foster parent?
The verification timeframe is up to you! Typically, the process for a newly licensed foster parent takes approximately 90 days to complete. However, the process can be completed sooner depending on the family's availability and diligence in completing required tasks.
Do I have a choice in deciding what children are placed in my home?
During the verification process, our staff will work with each foster parent to determine what type of children are placed with the family. Foster parents will have the opportunity to express their preferences concerning the age, sex, ethnicity, behaviors, etc. of the child or children placed in their care.
FE empowers its families to make placement decisions that will best meet their experience,
comfort levels, and dynamics of their home.
Is adoption an option?
Yes, adoption through the Families Especial program is an option.
The primary goal for children is reunification with their biological parents or relatives. However, if the child’s parents are unable to make the changes needed to regain parental responsibilities Child Protective Services (CPS) will pursue adoption by a non-relative.
Once the parent/child relationship is legally terminated, a child is free for adoption and a foster parent can pursue adoption.
We’d like to help a child but are not ready to commit to fostering. Are there other ways to help?
Yes! We are always looking for caring and responsible adults to provide short-term or respite care to children while foster parents are unavailable or taking a break to recharge their batteries. You can get involved by providing care to children for a specified time for up to 72hours.
Respite is an excellent way to learn more about the foster care system and gain experience in working with children who have experienced trauma before making the commitment to becoming a foster parent.
Other ways to be involved include mentoring or sponsoring a child.