Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Preparing to become a foster parent: Who will qualify?

Who qualifies to be a foster parent?  I am sure there are a LOT of ‘buts’ and ‘what abouts’ in your list of reasons why you might or might not qualify to become a foster parent.  Let us dispel all the myths and get down to the truth.  The following is a list of qualifications directly from the Indiana DCS website:
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Passing a criminal history and background check that includes a fingerprint-based national history
  • Demonstrating financial stability
  • Own or renting your own home that meets physical safety standards (e.g., fire extinguishers, adequate bedroom space, reliable transportation)
  • Medical statements from a physician for all household members
  • Successful completion of pre-service training requirements
  • Successful completion of First Aid, CPR, and Universal Precautions training
  • Positive personal reference statements
  • Foster parents do not need to be married. They may be single or cohabitating. A live-in relationship with a significant other or same-sex partner should be established for at least one year to demonstrate stability.
  • Home visits from the Regional Licensing Specialist
  • Completion of all required Casey Foster Family Assessments
  • Completing all required forms within the licensing packet
-Financial stability does not mean you need to be ‘well off’.  It simply means that you can adequately provide for your current family’s needs.

-Bedroom space is always an issue people raise.  Generally if bedroom space must be shared you would want to keep similar aged children of the same sex together,.. Or depending on the ages you might keep a sibling group all together in one room.  The rule of thumb is 50 square foot per child per room.  So if you have a bedroom that is 10’X12’ or 120 square feet then that will appropriately fit two children.  This is not a hard and fast rule, but it is a guideline that DCS will go by in determining how many foster children you would have room for and be licensed for when they do your home study.  Going hand in hand with that will be how many seats you have available in your vehicles.  Would it be adequate for everyone to get in and get buckled up? 

-The Medical Statement entails you have what amounts to a yearly physical with your physician and that your doctor agrees you are healthy enough to care for a child.  

-Positive Personal References might come from friends, family members or other community members who know you and/or your family.  I think when we went through this process this last time we used a couple different longtime friends from different places…(One from my hometown and one from our current church.) and one of David’s former project managers from a former employer whom he was still friends with.  Your pastor or coworkers might also be a good place to start.

One thing that is not mentioned here is pets.  Pets are not a problem at all, but you will need to have their vaccinations current to be licensed.  

A couple other things to keep in mind… Foster parents:

  • ·         May or may not have children of their own (Being a parent currently is not a requirement!)

  • ·         May work outside of the home with approved child care plans  (You do not need to be a full time stay at home parent.)

Do you live outside the state of Indiana?  Do a quick Google search on your state and the key words foster care or DCS. 

I hope that if you have any questions you will feel free to contact me and ask away! 

Are you ready to take the step to ask for more information on becoming a foster parent?  Click through and fill out the inquiry form here.  

Go out there and #ChangeTheWorld !

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