Saturday, January 15, 2011

So you're intrigued...

And are thinking about becoming Foster Parents or Adoptive Parents through Foster Care.. YIPPEE!! 

Just an FYI (in case you aren't yet intrigued) as of 2008 there were an estimated 463,000 children in foster care in the Unitied States (from Foster Care Statistics), it is also estimated that of those children 115,000 are available for adoption (from

When people hear that P. and I are Foster Parents, the response is usually "I could never do that, how do you give them back?"  And my response is, "Well, it isn't easy, but its the right thing.  Plus if you aren't able to be Foster Parents, you could be a Respite home... meaning that you basically 'babysit' for Foster Parents."  Being a Foster Parent isn't the easiest thing I've done in my life, but it is the most rewarding.  It's rewarding on all ends of the spectrum, because you get to see progress being made as this family is being reunited.  Progress from the parents and progress from the children.

So you have questions: What does it take? What are they looking for? Where do I begin?

Remember that Foster Care is seen as a short term solution to an emergency situation. The Department needs committed individuals who are:
  • Willing to work with the child's birth parents
  • Supportive of efforts to return the child home
  • Able to work with children who have significant emotional and behavioral needs
  • Able to encourage teens toward independent living.
You are not required to own your own home, be married or give up your job and stay home full time in order to foster children. You may be renting an apartment or be single. You may apply for day care payments for the time that you are working or continuing your education.

To become a Foster Care Parent  applicants must:
  • Complete a licensing application
  • Successfully complete background clearances for all adult household members
  • Provide medical statements for all household members
  • Have an environmental inspection (when applicable)
  • Provide three acceptable references
  • Pass on-site visits to the home by the licensing worker
  • Attend training pertinent to foster care issues.
There are variety of ways you can get involved with children and families relying on social services and Foster Care.  They include volunteering and advocating.  There are also a number of non-profit agencies that can assist in the process, rather than going directly through the State or County offices. 

Contact your local Foster Care Agency and get more information today!


  1. We got scared when we went to a foster care meeting because they pretty much guaranteed us we would have teenagers. Both of us thought that if that was the case maybe we should wait a few years until our friends kids are teenagers (or at least preteen....our oldest little friends are about 7 now....) so we had people to talk too & learn from. I was wondering if that is the experience that a lot of other people have had.

  2. @ Colleen... you tell them the ages you will accept. Yes, there are many teens that need homes... that is because few people foster teens. So if you are willing to wait a little while, younger children do come along. My husband and I are adopting a 4 and 6 yr old sister set from foster care.

  3. You certainly do make me want to open my heart and home to these wonderful little kiddos. But as of right now we can barely fit the two we have in our home. It is on my list of things to do though! Thank you for your continued sharing of your experience!

  4. Started the PRIDE class last month. I am single, thirty something, with no children (yet). I have been answering the question "How are you going to give them back?". All I can say is "I'll pray". :)



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