Frequently Asked Questions
What is foster care?
Foster care is a situation in which for a period of time a child lives with and is cared for by people who are not the child’s parent (Merriam-Webster).
What age do you have to be to foster?
You need to be 25 years old and 10 years older than the child placed in your home.
Do I have to be married to foster?
Nope, you do not have to be married to foster.
Do I have to own my own home?
Nope, you can own or rent.
Can I be a foster parent if I have a swimming pool?
Yes! There is some additional paperwork involved, but you can certainly have a swimming pool.
Can foster parents work outside of the home?
Absolutely! Children in care are required to be in enrolled in either daycare or public school.
Do I get paid to be a foster parent?
Yes, and no. The payment that you receive is a reimbursement that is distributed monthly. The daily rate is calculated based on the child’s level and age, and is meant to cover the additional costs of adding another family member to the home such as extra gasoline, extra groceries, extra water, etc.
What does the process entail to become a foster parent?
The first step to become a foster parent is to attend an Orientation Meeting! Then you will attend a ten week IMPACT training to help prepare you to be the best foster parent that you can be. This also includes First Aid/CPR training! During the IMPACT training, we will also be completing a home study process with the prospective foster parent(s) that allows us to get to know each of the family members better and to assess the safety of the home. The prospective foster parent(s) will also have to have be fingerprinted, get a medical check, have references verified, and have various background and safety checks completed.
How long does it take to become a foster parent?
The process in full usually takes between three and six months.
What ages are the children that you place?
We place children that are newborns up to age eighteen.
How long does a child typically remain in a foster home?
Every child and every situation is different, however, the average time in care is 8-12 months. However, the goal of the court system is for the children to find permanency within one year of the time they enter foster care.
Why are children placed in foster care?
There are many reasons that children are placed in foster care to include neglect, physical abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, and/or sexual abuse.
Can I take foster children on vacation with me?
Yes! In fact, we encourage it! However, since legal custody of children in foster care belongs to DFCS we must obtain their permission first.
Do I have to be willing to adopt in order to foster?
You do not. Sometimes the opportunity to adopt from foster care will come available. However, you do not have to proceed forward with adopting that child if you do not feel like it is the best fit and an adoptive home will be secured.
What are the differences between HOPE Foster Care and DFCS?
HOPE Foster Care is a private, child-placing agency which means that we have a contract with the state to provide foster care services. We support and work alongside DFCS in all of the ways that we can, but we have the privilege that all we do at our agency is foster care – which allows our foster parents and our children in care to be our top priority, always!
How do we match children to families?
The matching process is very in-depth because making good placements the first time is incredibly important! We spend time as an agency throughout IMPACT classes and the home study process getting to know your family better, your strengths, your areas of growth, your passions, your hobbies, etc. This allows us to help make good matches from the beginning. Additionally, at the end of IMPACT, our prospective foster parents get to check the age group, ethnicities, religions, mental disorders, and behavioral disorders that they feel comfortable being able to parent.
What is the home study process like?
The home study process is simply a way for us as an agency to get to know each of your family members better, check the home for safety and quality standards that are expected of foster parents, discuss placement preferences, talk about your reasons for wanting to foster, and answering any questions that you might have!
How long will it take?
Every situation is different, but we try to schedule a visit every 7-10 days with a minimum of three visits.
How many times do you visit?
There is a minimum of three visits which includes the safety and quality standards visit. Sometimes more visits are required to thoroughly discuss everything that we need to discuss, and that is not a bad thing!
Who comes to the visits?
Typically the Resource Developer will be the one doing the home visits. This is the person who also teaches the IMPACT Training so it is someone you will know very well by the end of this process!