How to Become a Foster Parent - Finding Your Reasons and Resources
What exactly is foster care and the role of a foster parent? According to the National Adoption Center, The foster care system is a temporary arrangement in which adults provide for the care of a child or children whose birth parent is unable to care for them. Foster care can be informal or arranged through the courts or a social service agency. The goal for a child in the foster care system is usually reunification with the birth family, but may be changed to adoption when this is seen as in the child's best interest. Finding information on how to become a foster parent can be a daunting task, however.
Who Can be a Foster Parent?
There are few limitations on who can be a foster parent, although everyone must pass a background check, complete training, and receive a home study from a county human service department or child placement agency. The foster parent training and certification process prepares you to care for and support a child or youth who has experienced trauma, grief and loss, and with whom you have no history. (source: https://co4kids.org/foster-care-and-adoption) If you’re interested in finding out if you meet these qualifications, take a look at our checklist here (link: https://www.samplesupports.com/foster-care-faqs.html).
Why Become a Foster Parent?
According to childrensrights.org, there are 438,000 children in foster care in the United States on any given day. There are endless stories about how being a foster parent can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Giving a child some stability when they are going through an uncertain time can make all the difference in their life, and in yours. Inviting a child in need into your home and into your life provides them with comfort and support at the time they need it the most.
One of the key factors in rectifying problems and circumstances that bring children into foster care is the involvement of multiple people who play integral and supportive roles with at-risk families, children, and youth. The role of a foster parent is one of the most vital ones in the system. Foster parents can love and teach children while also supporting the biological family members who are working to provide a safer home for their children to return to.
The Role of the Foster Parent
What is your role when you become a foster parent? It is to provide a safe and stable home for the children and youth in your care. This means meeting the physical, emotional, and social needs of your foster youth or child. Children and youth in foster care come from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Most children and youth in the foster care system are there because they experienced abuse or neglect.
How to Become a Foster Parent
Finding an agency to partner with you through the process of becoming a foster parent is the best way to ensure success and keep the training and application process straightforward. Sample Supports is a foster care agency that provides you with skills training, in-home clinical and behavioral services, crisis management support, mentorship and respite services. Sample is here to be a constant source of support, information and training to help you succeed.
All services we provide follow the practices of Trauma Informed Care, and our highly educated caseworkers are trained to provide a high level of service to you and your foster child.
As a foster parent, you will be paid a stipend for room and board that should cover the money you spend on food, shelter, clothing, and other related expenses. Treatment Foster Parents that are providing services to a higher needs population may also receive a tax-free difficulty of care stipend. The rate varies depending on the needs of the child or youth. Medicaid generally covers medical and dental expenses.
Now that you know how to become a foster parent, take the first step by contacting us at Sample Supports and let us partner with you in this exciting journey! You can also apply online here.