Frequently Asked Questions

What is Foster care?
Foster care is the temporary placement of children and youth in families outside of their own home as a result of child abuse or neglect. The goal is to provide them with a safe, stable, nurturing environment.

Who are Foster Families?
Foster famiies are people who enjoy parenting and who are willing to share their homes, time, energy & love with children who have special needs because of abuse and neglect.

Who can be a Foster Parent?
In most state you can be a foster parent if you're:

  • At least 21 years of age
  • Financially able to care for yourself
  • Willing to permit a fire and health inspection of your home
  • Single, married, divorced or widowed
  • Willing to attend all required training
  • Willing to consent to a criminal background check
  • Willing to consent to a child abuse registry check
  • Willing to meet with social workers to determine if fostering is appropriate for you and your family
  • Willing to work to meet the needs of these children
  • Including all of the above but not limited to just these things.

If you are interested please call your local Department of Human Services office for more information.

Where do children who need foster care come from?
Sometimes as a result abuse, neglect, abandonment or death in a family, courts sometimes determine that a child or youth must be separated temporally from their family. These children come from all culture and economic groups.

How long is temporary?
A child’s stay in foster care can be as short as overnight to as long as a few years. The first goal is to reunite the child with their family if at all possible.

Can foster parents work outside the home?
Yes, working people can be licensed as foster parents. However, there are children who require a full time stay at home parent. Most agency have specific programs to serve the needs of all types of children.

Is financial assistance available?
In most cases a foster family will receive a set reimbursement to help with the expenses while a child is placed in their home. Children usually have medical and dental coverage while in foster care.

What other types of support do foster parents receive?
Each family and child is assigned a case manager who is responsible for providing support to the foster family. Supporting services such as respite care, training, and crisis lines are provided by the licensing agency. Support is also offered through state and local foster parent associations.

Can Foster Children be adopted?
The first goal of the foster care is to reunite the child with their family. If children cannot return home or placed with a relative, they may be eligible for adoption.

Which children have the greatest need for foster care?
Children and youth between the ages of 11 and 16, groups of siblings and teenage mothers have the greatest need for foster care.