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Answers to Common Questions About Fostering

What are the physical and emotional requirements for caring for children?

Being a parent can be demanding. You must be healthy and emotionally stable to care for foster children. You may be asked to complete a physical or provide medical clearance as well as other supportive documentation to help establish the state of your physical and emotional health.

What are the background screening requirements?

Thorough background screening is conducted on all prospective foster families, including Abuse Registry, local criminal and federal criminal (fingerprint) clearances. Child abuse clearances are required for all household members, including biological, adopted and relative children living in the home.

What are the financial and income requirements?

While you don’t have to be rich to be a foster parent, you must have adequate income to meet your own family’s needs. Foster parents are reimbursed for the substitute care they provide. The monthly Board Rate is not income. During the home study process, we will ask you to show proof of income and financial stability.

Do I have to be married to foster?

Foster parents can be single or married. However, if you are married, you must have been in your current marital status for at least 12 months to ensure stability in your relationship.

What training will I receive?

All prospective foster parents are required to attend a free approximately one-hour long orientation. If they choose to continue in the process they will then be registered to attend a free training class called Professional Parenting, which is usually provided over the course of several weeks on an evening or on several Saturdays. If you are married, both parents will need to attend and complete this training.

Should I become a foster parent so I can adopt a child?

Because foster care is a temporary placement, most children that come into your home will not be eligible for adoption. In fact, 80% of children are reunified with their parents or transition to living with relatives. A foster parent is expected to work with the case manager assigned to the foster child along with that child’s birth parents, in the hopes that the family will be reunited.

A foster parent must be objective and must be able to assist a child when it comes time for that child to leave the foster home. Sometimes, however, children are unable to return home. If parental rights are terminated, first relatives, then foster parents are given consideration for adoption.

Will I get to choose the age and/or sex of the child placed in my home?

As part of the home study process, you will identify the age and sex of the child or children that would be most appropriate for your home. This is a conversation our staff will be having with you, all to ensure that the placement is stable and in the best interest for both your family and the foster child.

Can I travel with my foster child?

The short answer is yes! Families are encouraged to take children in their care on family vacations and trips whenever possible. 

Like many things in foster care there are several other considerations, both legally speaking and that pertain to each child’s case.  We walk all of our families through these situations so if you have a specific question about travel please let us know.