Supporting, safe, and nurturing foster parents needed.
What is foster care?
Foster care is the temporary placement of children in a new and safe home away from the children’s family due to abuse or neglect. Placement in a foster home protects the children while Child Protective Services (CPS) works with the family to work toward a safe family environment or place the children with a protective and approved biological family or fictive kin home. The goal of CPS is to reunify children with their family, if possible. When this is not possible, CPS then begins working toward locating an adoptive home which best meets the need of the children.
What is expected of a foster parent?
A foster parent must be committed to providing a safe and nurturing family environment for a child until he or she can return home to live with the biological family. Foster parents are expected to attend to and meet a child’s individual needs and be meaningfully involved in all aspects of the child’s life: school, therapy, social network, culture and others. Foster parents are expected to schedule visits with the social workers involved in the case and work with the biological family when appropriate.
Who are the children in foster care?
The children in foster care range in age from birth to 17 and have been removed from their biological families due to abuse and/or neglect. The children have been placed in foster homes that have been deemed safe and nurturing. These children have experienced some degree of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and/or emotional abuse, leading to a multitude of traumas and issues which present themselves in a variety of ways. In addition to these traumas, the children are then removed from the only family they have ever known which compounds the issue. Many children in foster care are part of a sibling group and, unfortunately, may be separated from their siblings if there is not a home able to accommodate all of them together.
However, children are amazingly resilient. Foster, adoptive, and kinship parents can make a difference by providing a safe, structured, and nurturing environment. It is important to remember that these children will grow up to be the adults in our community. How we respond to their needs now will largely determine the type of citizen they will be in the future.
What are the cost associated with foster care and do I get any financial assistance?
The only fees associated with becoming a foster parent are within the initial process to become a verified foster parent. The fees are nominal and include things such as getting an FBI Fingerprint through DFPS (Department of Family and Protective Services) for anyone in the home over the age of 14, CPR/1st Aid Training for any caregiver, TB (Tuberculosis) testing for all family members, vehicle inspections on all vehicles, a basic driving record for anyone who is approved to transport children, and transportation training for anyone who is approved to transport children. After verification, foster parents are then reimbursed monthly for the money used to meet the needs of the children. Foster parents do not pay any of a children’s medical, dental, ophthalmology, therapy, psychiatric, or medications prescribed to the child. Foster children receive medical assistance which covers these needs.