What is foster care?
Foster care is a protective service provided to families experiencing difficulties so severe that the children are temporarily removed from their home and placed in a foster home. In these foster homes, foster parents provide a temporary, safe, stable and nurturing environment until children are able to be return home or reach another permanency goal.
What are the requirements to become a foster parent?
- Families or individuals must be at least 25 years old (23 if married)
- Financially and emotionally stable
- Responsible and willing to work as a part of a team
- Foster and respite parents are culturally diverse, single or married and from all income levels
- No experience with foster care or special needs is required
- You can rent or own your own home and may have other children. Foster families must have a clean and safe home with adequate space for additional child/children.
- Families must attend an orientation, attend IMPACT, a 20-hour training class, and undergo the homestudy process.
All individuals must be able to pass the following screens:
- Criminal history
- Child protective service
- Driving records
- Drug screen
- Medical clearance
- Foster families must have time, flexibility and the desire to make a difference in the life of a child.
What do foster parents do?
The foster parent acts as a full-time caregiver providing a safe, stable and nurturing home until the child returns to his parents or relatives or another permanent plan is made. Foster parents work as part of a treatment team to ensure that the children’s safety, well-being and permanency needs are met and children reach their highest potential.
What types of children will be placed in my home?
We currently service children/youth from ages 0-21 years old, male and female of any race. The children that are placed have encountered some level of trauma and are brought into care due to neglect, physical or sexual abuse. We place children with a wide range of emotional, behavioral and medical issues.
Where is the biggest need?
Parents are needed for all types of children. However, there is always a great need for parents willing to accept teenagers and large sibling groups of three (3) or more children.
How long does it take to become a foster parent?
Trainings are scheduled regularly throughout the year. Once families complete IMPACT training, they are eligible to begin the home study process. The time your home study will take is determined by your schedule and the timely submission of your documents. We estimate a family can be approved within 3-6 months.
What is a home study?
A home study is document produced from information gathering and an in-depth interview process conducted by licensed social worker. It involves 2-3 home visits where in-person interviews take place with all individual in the home. All results from reference checks, background checks, drug screens and medical information are included in the home study. Home studies are not standardized; they follow state regulations and may vary from state to state. The average home study takes about three to six months to complete.
How long will a child stay in my home?
Foster care is designed to be temporary so on average, children are in foster homes for six to eighteen months. However children can be placed in your home and moved at anytime the courts deem fit.
Do I get paid to be a foster parent?
Families First does not pay foster parents for fostering. However, we do provide a supplemental per diem for families to assist with the care-taking of the children in their home.
I’m interested in adoption. Should I consider foster care?
Absolutely. While most children in foster care are reunited with family members, reunification for some is not an option. In these cases, foster families may be considered for adoption. Adopting through foster care allows families the opportunity to get to know the child prior to finalizing the adoption.
How do I become a foster parent?
Contact us at 404-853-2844 and request to attend a Foster Care Orientation. Additional steps include:
- Attend IMPACT Class
- Complete Home Study Process
- Receive Letter of Approval
- Receive Placement