Foster Parent

How to Become Foster Parent

| June 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

The procedure and requirements of becoming foster parent may vary from one jurisdiction to the other. Being a foster parent is not easy because you will be required to provide for another child, in addition to those which you have sired. Serving as foster parent also means that you will have to work closely with foster agency such as local authority as often as Foster Parentmay be necessary, while at the same time maintaining close contact with the biological family of the child. While being foster parent is little bit challenging, it also offers great rewards. The greatest reward comes for satisfaction of self-esteem that you have helped a child in dire need to live a decent life.

 The requirements of becoming a foster parent

Because of the sensitive nature on the undertaking, in the United States, those who want to become foster parents are taken through rigorous process of screening, after which they may be trained before they can be licensed. There is no requirement that a person who wants to become foster parent be married, and prior experience of rearing child is not always required. The laws differ among the various U.S. states but generally, the person who wants to become a foster parent should meet the following requirements.

  • Must be aged 21 years or older. Some states require applicants be aged not older than 65 years and not younger than 21 years.
  • Must have adequate room for one child in his or her home.
  • Must have the financial capability to provide for the child.
  • The home where the child will be taken care of must be safe.
  • The applicant must be in state of good mental and physical health.

To be licensed as foster parent in the U.S., you must meet the above five requirements.

The process of becoming a foster parent

The foster care systems of the various states may vary but the process in general is as follows:

  1. Making a call or visiting Social Services division in your state and then request information on how to become foster parent. You will be provided with information packet that will outline what is expected of you as a foster parent, and how to go about the process of licensing. Some local foster care agencies in U.S states may organize orientation sessions for those who want to learn how to become foster parents.
  2. From the information packet, you will get all the details you need to know about how to become foster parent, and from then you can now make decisions whether to proceed, or not to. If you decide to proceed, you will be required to fill out an application form. In the application you will provide details that will help the foster care agency a good idea of how well you are suited to become a foster parent
  3. If the foster care agency is satisfied that you meet the requirements of becoming foster parent, its social workers will conduct study of your home. This study includes visiting your home, and they will conduct various inspections so as to evaluate the safety and other factors such as the financial stability of your family. In some instances, everybody in your home who is aged 12 years or older, may be fingerprinted and their criminal records checked. The process of criminal background checks may take several months.
  4. While the criminal background checks process is ongoing, you may be offer an opportunity of enrolling in foster training courses that the local state foster care agency offers.  The training covers issues such as how to deal with children (including those with special needs), good parenting, etc.
  5.  If the study conducted upon of your home goes on successfully, and you complete the training, then you will be licensed as a foster parent. The local foster agency will help you find a child, in need of care, who is best suited to your requirements, or your home.

A foster parent is not required to undertake all the child’s responsibilities, the way adopted or biological parent would. In many states, the foster parent can request for the removal of the child from his or her home. Some state departments and non governmental agencies offer support to foster care parents to make them capable to provide for, and care for the foster child.