Foster/Adopt Basic Requirements
The prospective foster/adoptive parents may be single or married and must:
- be at least 21 years of age, financially stable, and responsible mature adults,
- complete an application (staff will assist you, if you prefer),
- share information regarding their background and lifestyle,
- provide relative and non-relative references,
- show proof of marriage and/or divorce (if applicable),
- agree to a home study which includes visits with all household members,
- allow staff to complete a criminal history background check and an abuse/neglect check on all adults in the household, and
- attend free training to learn about issues of abused and neglected children.
- The training provides an opportunity for the family and TruLight127 to assess whether foster care or adoption is best for the family.
- The family may withdraw from the meetings at any time. There is no charge for the meetings.
- Foster/adoptive parents generally train together.
- provide permanent homes and a lifelong commitment to children into adulthood;
- provide for the short-term and long-term needs of children;
- provide for children’s emotional, mental, physical, social, educational, and cultural needs, according to each child’s developmental age and growth;
- may become certified as a foster family and accept children who are not legally free for adoption, but whose permanency plan is adoption.
Can you choose what age children you foster?
Yes, we go through a process of getting to know you and your family so that we can make the right fit.
Can adoptive families provide foster care?
Yes! Adoptive families who are willing to accept placement of children who are not yet legally free for adoption but have a plan for adoption can also become certified as foster families. This dual certification increases the opportunities for successful adoptions. In some areas of the state, a “buddy system” has been developed in which experienced foster families, who understand the challenges and rewards of foster parenting, are available to share experiences with new families and give support.
Additional Foster Care Basic Requirements
In addition to the basic requirements, foster parents must:
- have adequate sleeping space.
- allow no more than 6 children in the home including your own children or children for whom you provide day care.
- agree to a nonphysical discipline policy.
- permit fire, health and safety inspections of the home.
- vaccinate all pets.
- obtain and maintain CPR/First Aid Certification.
- obtain TB skin testing as required by the local Health Department for household members.
- attend 20 hours or more of training each year
- Complete paperwork required by TruLight127
Does the child have health insurance or do I have to insure them?
Children in foster care have their own Medicaid.
Can I assign chores for the child/children to do?
Yes, children will need to learn life skills so a chore list that is age-appropriate is a good way to teach them.
Can Foster Families Adopt?
Yes! Many families are interested in both fostering and adopting. They agree with the agency that the children’s needs come first. In most cases, this means helping prepare children for reunification with their birth family, mentoring the birth parents, or working toward a relative or kinship placement.
When termination of parental rights is in the children’s best interest and adoption is their plan, then foster parents who have cared for the children will be given the opportunity to adopt. Dual certification of parents to both foster and adopt speeds up the placement process, reduces the number of moves a child makes, and allows relationships to evolve with the initial placement process. Nearly half the adoptions of children in DFPS foster care are by their foster families.
- Provide daily care and nurturing of children in foster care;
- advocate for children in their schools and communities;
- inform the children’s caseworkers about adjustments to the home, school, and community, as well as any problems that may arise, including any serious
illnesses, accidents, or serious occurrences involving the foster children or their own families;
- make efforts as team members with children’s caseworkers towards reunifying children with their birth families;
- provide a positive role model to birth families and help children learn life skills.
Do I have to foster?
No, you can do straight adoptions.
Do foster children have to have their own room?
No, they do have to have the same genders in the same room over the age of 5. Four kids in a room as long as there are 40 sq ft per child.
Can you keep siblings together?
YES!!! This is a HUGE need!
Will I have to prove a minimum level of income to foster/adopt?
You will need to supply documentation of income to the Agency.
Is there a min/max age for foster parents?
Must be at least 21-years-old. Max age depends on the health and situation of the child in care.
Will my home be subject to scheduled or random inspections?
Yes, from Licensing, CPS, and TruLight127. Not all at once and not random every month.
What are the chances (statistically) that I will be able to adopt my foster child?
This is always asked and we wish we had a clear answer. When you enter the world of foster care you are working with other humans. We all come with our own baggage, our own assumptions, personalities, etc. Children in care have biological parents and biological family members who are given the chance to step up. Children whose parental rights are terminated and they are placed in your home are ready for adoption
What paperwork is needed to adopt/foster?
To start the process you will need to complete an application, sign a confidentiality form, and complete a background check for everyone in your home that is age 14 years and up.
What is the wait time to adopt a child?
No matter how children are placed in your home there is a minimum 6 month monitoring period.
What are the rules regarding children sharing a room?
Same genders in the same room over the age of 5. Four kids in a room as long as there are 40 sq ft per child
How much does the whole adoption process cost?
Adoption through Foster Care is very little to no cost. In most cases, children can meet certain criteria for subsidy that covers lawyer and court fees. This subsidy often provides a monthly stipend until age 18.
If I own firearms, will there be restrictions (e.g. must they be locked in a safe; must ammo be locked separately)?
Yes, weapons will have to be double locked.
If I have pets will I have to provide vet records?
Yes, all vaccinations will need to be up-to-date and we will need to have documentation
How much notice are you given to foster a child before the child arrives?
Emergency Placements can come quickly. I often say that you are like an on-call physician. Once you are licensed you could start receiving calls the day. Planned placements take longer. In each case, your preferences make the determination on how fast children are placed in your home.