FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
What is foster parenting?
Foster parenting provides a safe, loving, and nurturing temporary home for children who for one reason or another cannot live with their families at the present time. As a foster parent, you will become a surrogate parent and a member of a team that is working to assure the well-being of the child. The team consists of the child, the child’s family, the CFS caseworker, the foster family, and the county Office of Children, Youth and Families.
What are the children in foster care like?
Children in foster care are like all other children in many ways. There are boys and girls, single children and siblings. Children in foster care come from varied backgrounds and different family situations, but all are in foster care because, for some reason, their parents are unable to care for them.
How long will the children stay in foster care?
Foster care is a temporary situation. Most children eventually return home to their birth parents. When the children are not able to reunite with their birth parents, adoption by the foster family or another family is the goal.
What does it take to become a foster parent?
During your training, you will learn a lot about whether or not foster parenting is right for you. In general, you can be a foster parent if you are in good health and at least 21 years old. You can be married or single. All adults in your household will be subject to a criminal background check and a child abuse clearance, and some findings might disqualify you from foster parenting. You must have your own income and a large enough home, free from health and safety hazards, to comfortably accommodate a child. Most important, you must be able and willing to provide care and guidance on a daily basis to a child in need.
What kind of financial support is available to help me care for the child?
Every month, you will receive a check to cover the costs of raising a child. This includes additional funds for clothing and, for infants, diapers. Medicaid covers children’s medical expenses.
Will I have other support?
The Director of Treatment Foster Care Services will work with you throughout the child’s stay in your home, as well as opportunities to attend training sessions throughout the year. Joining a foster parent support group is a good way to get advice and assistance from experienced foster parents.