How Does Foster Parenting Work?
Becoming a foster parent is a big step for so many foster parents to be. It can get pretty intimidating if it’s your first time fostering, but it becomes smooth sailing once you know what to do and how to go about it. For foster parents to be, becoming a foster parent means that you are available for your foster kid like your own when the parents are unable to be there for them. Foster parents work with agencies because of the complexities of local, state, and federal regulations in the whole fostering process.
Essentially, the whole process involves the implementation of federal child and family legislation by the Children’s Bureau as directed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administration for Children and Families. Objectively this process focuses on reducing maltreatment of children, preventing child abuse, or providing a safe environment where a child will develop well. Here’s how the whole process of fostering works.
A child may need foster parents for a few days, weeks, months, or even years. It depends on the specific needs of the child because many are driven by different circumstances to land in the foster care system. This is why the profile of the foster parent has to be thoroughly vetted before a child is assigned to the. There is a rigorous vetting process which is followed by training and eventually getting licensed to become a foster parent.
There is no rule about being married to foster a baby. In most states, you are required to be above 21 years old, but some have restrictions for people aged over 65 years. You are also required to have room in your home for the baby. It might be a room or a place to sleep with some personal storage in the least. Your financial ability will also be assessed, so you must have enough to take care of your family first and surplus for the foster child. Of course, other requirements of being of sound mind and health as well as your home meeting relevant safety standards still apply.
After you express interest in fostering, vetting, training, and licensing usually follow. Thereafter, if you are deemed suitable to become a foster parent, social workers and foster agency staff will conduct a home study on your home. This includes an actual visit to your home and checking everyone within the home for a criminal record. It is advisable to begin this process well in advance because this process lengthy and may take months to complete. This can happen while you are still undergoing training.
Once successful, the foster care agency and social workers will attempt to find you a good match for your home. If found, the child will come to live with you. This is an oversimplified breakdown of breakdown how the whole process transpires, but the reality isn’t far from it either. In reality, it may take up to two years from expressing interest to when the child comes to live with you.
That said, the foster parent does not bear all the responsibility of the child, as is the case with adoption or giving birth. In foster care, the child’s medical expenses are covered by Medicaid, and a monthly check is disbursed to cater for the child’s living and expenses. Sometimes these provisions may not be enough, and the parent may have to pay for some amenities hence the prior vetting. It is important to note that the foster parents have no legal obligation to the child, and the child can be withdrawn from your care at any time. In essence, the foster parent has to provide parental love for the child whose parents cannot, so if you are interested in becoming a foster parent or need more information, feel free to reach out to us.