Before a child can be placed in your home, federal and state law require that your home be licensed. From beginning to end, you will have a licensing social worker available to answer questions and equip you with needed information regarding foster care.
1. Applications and Orientation
An application will need to be completed that includes information about your family, family history, and the reasons you are interested in becoming a foster parent. You can obtain the application at orientation. The orientation is an informal meeting for you to learn the process, ask questions and decide whether foster parenting is the right choice for you and your family.
If you decide foster care is right for you and your family, you will need to attend PRIDE Training. PRIDE stands for Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education. The goals of the training are:
- Meet the protective, developmental, cultural and permanency needs of children placed with foster and adoptive families
- Strengthen families
- Strengthen the quality of family foster care and adoption services
- Share resources
Training includes topics such as children attachment issues, grief and loss, discipline, effects of abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, and the effects of fostering and adopting on the family.
You will also be required to attend Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and First-Aid Training
3. At-Home Consultation
The licensing social worker will schedule a time to meet with you and your family in your home. We will make sure your home passes basic fire and health inspections and provides a suitable environment for children in foster care. You will be informed of necessary requirements during your training.
4. Complete and Pass Criminal Background Check
Not all criminal history will prevent you from being licensed. Applicants with criminal or arrest history are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In certain circumstances, the law allows for exemptions to be made when there is a criminal history.
When you are officially approved to accept foster children in your home, you will receive your license. At this stage you can make decisions about the number of children, ages and behaviors of the children that you feel you can successfully accept into your family.
Once you are licensed, you will begin to receive children into your home at your discretion. When a placement is needed for a child, you will receive a call from our Centralized Placement Support Unit and discuss a particular child. You will have an opportunity to review their history with the social worker and ask questions. You are under no obligation to take a child you do not believe is right for your family.