Basic requirements for becoming a foster parent
- Your home is clean and well maintained with appropriate bed space for one or more children.
** Yes, apartments are ok.
** Appropriate bed space is defined as up to two beds in a normal sized bedroom (babies, up to age 2 may sleep in the foster parents room)
- You are currently supporting your family without the funds that you will receive from foster care.
- If you have a pool, it must be secure with a 5-foot wrought iron fence or safety pool cover.
- No person living in your home has a criminal record.
- MOST IMPORTANT: You love working with kids and have a good sense of humor.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. How do I know if our family would make a good foster family? That’s hard to say because each family has multiple layers of strengths and weaknesses that are not readily seen on the surface. In general, the best foster homes really like kids, as they are, unfinished with all their imperfections. They like to laugh and to play, and are quicker to encourage, then to criticize.
2. How will being a foster home affect my own kids? Kids that tend to be competitive for attention and territorial of belongings will not cope well with what they perceive as new competition and should not be subject to it. When the match is right, however, many kids, are quick to welcome a new arrival and surprisingly quick to almost forget that they’re not just part of the family. Ask them – they’ll tell you if they think it’s a good idea.
3. How much say do I have in the matching process? A LOT! After giving you a summary of the child’s personality, history and needs, you are invited to meet the child, take him home for a visit, or even for an overnight. Some families then have a meeting, including all family members in the decision making process.
4. What’s the average length of time that a child would be with us? The average is 3 – 18 months. In certain cases families choose to adopt a child.
5. What happens when there are brothers and sisters? Whenever possible we try to keep families together. A foster home can have up to 6 kids (including your own) depending on what your home can accommodate with 2 kids to a room. (Opposite sexes can usually share a room up to age 5.
6. Don’t be embarrassed to ask the $$$ question – it’s a reality too. You won’t be able to retire on the money you make as foster parents but your family may be able to afford for mom to become a “stay at home mom”. The rate of financial assistance ranges between $829.00 – $988.00 tax free per child, per month depending on the age of the child. See the breakdown below…
- 0-4 Years – 896.00
- 5-8 Years – 954.00
- 9-11 Years – 994.00
- 12-14 Years – 1032.00
- 15-20 Years – 1072.00
7. How long does it take to become foster parents? That largely depends on you. We tailor our training schedule to work with your family’s schedule. Plan on between 3 – 12 weeks to complete the foster family training and the CPR class.
8. Can I talk to a foster parent in your program? No problem, it can certainly be helpful to get the insider perspective. Any of our parents would be glad to talk about their experiences and answer any questions you have.
If you have any further questions or would like to talk to us please feel free to contact us days or evenings. W look forward to hearing from you.
Vicki Rider and Mark Chevalier, MA