Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Foster Parent
By Gretchen Rusden, Treatment Foster Care Recruitment Coordinator
At Embrace Treatment Foster Care we realize how daunting it can be to know where or how to start the process of becoming a foster parent and many questions are raised. That is why Embrace Treatment Foster Care holds regular information sessions at the Salem Church Library to answer questions and help people get started with paperwork and the process of becoming certified. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions. Have more questions you need answered, contact us at 540-613-5120 or [email protected]
Are foster children in care because of something bad they have done?
Foster children are in care for any number of reasons. Most children are in care because their parent does not have the ability to care for them right now, whether due to drug abuse, domestic violence, neglect, medical issues or another circumstance that is not suitable for a child. These are not bad children; they are just in bad situation!
Do you have to be a “traditional” family to become a foster family?
Successful foster homes come in all shapes and sizes. We encourage single moms and dads, empty nesters, cohabiting couples, same-sex couples, families with and without biological children, and anything in between to become foster parents! The most important requirement is for you to be a loving, supportive family where foster children can thrive.
How long does the certification process to become a foster family take?
Embrace can complete training as quickly as 6 months! Training consists of material that will help you be the best foster parent you can be. Most will consist of PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education) training, home visits and parenting classes and other activities that will help you be the best foster parent you can be!
Can I adopt a foster child after they are placed in my home?
The goal for every foster child is to provide them with a stable, loving home. If it ends up that the child becomes eligible for adopted foster parents are first given the option to adopt in order to maintain stability in that child’s life. This is a much less expensive option than adopting from a private agency.
Am I able to work a full time job and also foster?
Many foster parents have a full or part time job. Most foster care agencies can even help you with finding after-school or full time child care if needed. You are still able to work full time once you have a biological child, and having a foster child is no different!
Is there a minimum income to become a foster parent?
Foster parents must be financially stable, but they do not have to be wealthy! Foster parents can reside in homes they own or rent, including apartments, condos and duplexes! There are requirements for how many foster children you can care for depending on the amount of bedrooms you have available. A foster care agency can help you with those guidelines!
Do I have the ability to foster a child based on age and gender I feel most comfortable with?
Permanency is something that every foster care agency strives for. We want to make sure that whatever foster child is placed in your home will be a good fit. Therefore, we have an open and honest conversation with you about what age and gender of foster child will make a great addition to your family. We have children of all ages who come into foster care from little babies to funny and adventurous teenagers!
I am concerned I will get to attached to a foster child living in my home.
It’s true — you will get attached, and it will be painful when children you love leave. But, you have the peace of knowing that no matter how long a foster child lived with you they were able to experience a loving, happy family for that time. The lessons that they learn while being your foster child will stick with them for the rest of their lives!