What is Foster Care?
Foster Care is
providing a safe & structured home with parent(s) that have a desire
& availability to ensure security to a child, adolescent or teenager
Thousands of children
from all over of the world find themselves in Foster Care. They come
from various races, ethnicities, and religious backgrounds. Many of
the kids have become victims of some form of abuse or neglect. The
children are all unique in their own way and require encouragement,
support, nourishment, and overall special care.
Population in Foster Care on September 30, 2005 was
approximately 513,000 kids.
Average age of a
kid in Foster Care is 10 years old.
Average length of
time spent in Foster Care is 28.6 months.
More than 2
million children live with a relative due to lack of care at
What does it mean to be a
Foster parents provide temporary
care for children until they can be successfully reunited with their
birth parents. They work with children who have been removed from
their birth families because of abuse and neglect. The foster
family, DSS, and the birth family work together to return children
to their own home as soon as possible. Foster parents participate in
Shared Parenting with birth parents and meet with them to support
The Agency’s first choice for placement is with relatives. If there
are relatives who have approved home studies, the court may move a
child from a foster home to their relative’s home to help maintain
those family connections.
If a child cannot be returned home and there are no approved
relative homes, then the Agency may recruit for an adoptive home for
the child. Some foster parents are also interested in adoption and
are considered when choosing an adoptive family for the child.
Foster parenting is emotionally demanding parenting, but very
rewarding if you can be flexible, patient and work well with others.
How do I become a foster
Our agency is continually looking
for good, nurturing families to provide temporary care for children
in foster care. We are especially interested in recruiting
homes for teenagers, teenage mothers and their babies, and sibling
groups. A good foster parent is someone who copes well with change,
works well with teams, has patience for imperfect behavior and can
give without expecting immediate rewards.
The first step to become a licensed
foster parent is to contact our Foster Care Director (828) 430-4388
firstname.lastname@example.org. Our director will be willing
to answer any questions about how to become a foster parent and mail
you an information packet and application.
An initial home visit will be
scheduled at your family’s convenience to discuss any further
questions that you may have and to help you get started on the
A Caring Alternative offers the
Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP) classes which
provide information and the necessary skills to prepare families to
become a foster family. The classes are a requirement to become a
foster/adoptive parent and are being offered free of charge.
Each class will be
held at the Foothills Higher Education Center in Morganton, NC.
There are 30 hours of training involved in each series of foster
parent (MAPP) classes.
What are some of the
requirements fore becoming a foster parent?
- Potential foster parents must
complete an application form and a Mutual Home Assessment.
- The family’s home must receive
and pass a fire and safety inspection from the Fire Marshal and
meet building code.
- The family’s home must receive
and pass an environmental safety check that is conducted by the
agency. If the family has well water, they must receive and pass
a water inspection by Environmental Health.
- All family members must have a
physical examination and adults in the family must have a TB
- All adult family members 18
years and older must be finger-printed in order for criminal
records checks to be conducted locally, through the SBI and
through the FBI.
- If potential foster parents
are a married couple, they must have been married for at least
one year. Single applicants can also be licensed as foster
- To be licensed, foster parents
must be at least 21 years old. All adult members of the
household must attend training and complete all licensure
- Foster families need to have
adequate income to financially support their own family without
relying on the foster child’s board payment, as the board
payment is designed to cover the essentials of room and board
for the foster child.
- The foster home must have a
working telephone which functions without use of electrical
- The foster family must have
access to transportation and be willing and able to provide
necessary transportation to meet the needs of the foster child.
- The foster home must provide
each child with his/her own bedroom space.
- The foster home must be a
drug-free, domestic violence-free environment and not be
receiving any DSS Child Protective Services oversight.
- The foster family must be
willing to conduct Shared Parenting meetings with the child’s
birth parents and/or other relatives.
- As a part of MAPP class,
potential foster parents must also take the Minnesota
Multiphasic Personality Inventory – 2 (MMPI-2).
The final step is staffing the
family’s Mutual Home Assessment and licensure of the home. When
approved, the initial licensing packet is then mailed to the State
office for review and an official license is issued.
A foster home license is good for
two years. Ongoing training and support is offered through scheduled
in-service trainings, home visits and child and family team
meetings. If the family remains in good standing with the Agency,
their license can be renewed if they have completed their training
foster care brochure by clicking
foster care information packet and application
If you are
interested in becoming a foster parent, A Caring Alternative is now
Please contact our Foster Care Director at (828) 430-4388 or
email@example.com for more information.