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The Ins


of & Foster Parent Training Outs


unconditional love and patience. After you determined that you are ready to begin, there are long hours of training ahead of you before your first foster child is placed in your home, and becomes part of your family. These hours of training will go a long way in helping you prepare for the many challenges that await you as a foster parent.


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As each state has its own set of laws and policies in regard to foster parent training, your situation will likely be different than somebody in a neighboring state. The first step is to locate your city’s child welfare agency, and contact them. Perhaps you already know someone who is a foster parent, and they can help you find the correct contact information. If not, the phone book or Internet is a great way to find what you are looking for. As each state is different, you will find that there are a number of different names for child welfare agencies.


aking the decision to be a foster parent is a difficult one. It takes incredible commitment,


Before contacting the agency nearest to you, it is important to determine if you qualify as a possible foster parent, as there are requirements to be met before you become certified. These include the following:


Age: Foster parents need to be at least 21 years of age in order to take foster children into their homes.


Character: Character references are necessary in many occupations, including fostering children. You must have three statements from individuals stating that you have strong moral character, are able to develop meaningful relationships with children, can manage financially, and have sound judgment.


Financial: Though you will be reimbursed for having a foster child placed in your home, the daily reimbursement fee is small, and differs from state to state. Before a foster child is placed in your home, you may be asked to show that you are financially stable to support another child.


Health: Having a foster child in your house can be draining, emotionally, mentally and physically. In order to have a child placed in your home, each member of your family must be in mental and physical health. This includes no drug or alcohol abuse. You, and each member of your household, will have to have a medical examination, and a physical report from your doctor will have to be turned into the child welfare agency, and kept on file.


Marital Status: As each state is different, your marital status may be a factor in your certification as a foster parent. If you are married, you will have to have a copy of your marriage certificate turned into the child welfare agency, and kept on file. If your status should change any time you are a licensed foster parent, you will have to report this change to your agency.


Supervision: Foster parents are responsible for the whereabouts, care and supervision of a foster child at all times. If you, and your


18 FOSTERING F AMILIES TODA Y I MARCH/APRIL 2016 I WWW .FOSTERINGF AMILIESTODA Y .COM


FOCUS: The Role Foster Parents Play in the Foster Care System


focus BY JOHN DeGARMO, ED.D.


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