Interesting In Fostering Children? 4 Things To Do Before Becoming A Foster Parent

Foster parents play an important role in society. Foster parents help give children who are in crisis and in unsafe situations a safe place to go. They provide a safe environment for children who need it. Foster parents do not just pop-up, though; people have to be willing to step up and become foster parents.

Gather Information About the Foster Process

The first thing you should do if you want to become a foster parent is to gather information about the fostering process in your state. Before you go through with the training process, you need to make sure you are ready for what is to come.

You can sign-up for a foster parent orientation meeting, which will help you learn what the fostering process is like from a formal standpoint. Oftentimes, state fostering associations, or the Department of Children and Family Services host these orientation sessions.

Get a Background Check

You have to pass a background check in order to become a foster parent. The background check is a mutli-level process.

First, you have to pass a check that clears you with both the state police as well as the FBI. If you have lived in multiple states as an adult, you may need to pass background checks from each of those states as well. Additionally, you have to be cleared through the state register for child abuse and neglect, which is different than passing the general background check.

It is important to note that all adults in your household must pass this background check, regardless of if they are applying to be foster parents. You are obligated to provide a safe environment for the children you foster, and thus everyone in your home has to be able to pass the background requirements.

Complete Training

Next, you will have to take some training in order to become a foster parent. Each state has its own training program for you to complete. The training will require you to put in hours and, generally, take a test. You will also be required to complete a certain number of annual education hours. Foster children have a lot of different needs, and the training is designed to help you respond to those needs.

Complete Home Study

Finally, you will need to complete a home study, where someone will come out and make sure your home meets a variety of standards. Your home will have to pass certain health, environmental, and fire standards. Someone will also observe how you interact with the members of your family, and make sure your home will provide children in need with a safe environment.

If you want to become a foster parent, be prepared to go through orientation and training, as well as pass a background and home inspection and study. It is an involved but worthwhile process. Check out companies like Kids Count Too for more information.