How long does it take to become a foster parent?
The process typically takes about 8 weeks to complete. This could be shorter or longer depending on your availability.
Where do the foster children come from and what are their ages?
Methodist Foster Care contracts with the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) to place their children into our homes. All Children are in the custody of DCFS. The typical age range of children needing a therapeutic level of foster care is 10-17. Occasionally, there are younger children referred to us.
Can I be a single parent and still be a foster parent?
Yes. You can be single or legally married.
Will it cost me money to become a foster parent?
There may be small purchases foster parents have to make initially to get their home ready. These include: a first aid kit, small fire extinguisher, and water proof mattress cover for the child’s bed. Additionally, all members of the home have to complete a physical exam and tb testing. Depending on your insurance, there may be cost associated with getting this done.
Can I choose the age of the child placed in my home?
Yes. We ask that you give us a range of ages you are comfortable working with.
Can you explain the “experience” requirements?
Our State licensing regulations require that all Therapeutic Foster Parents have some type of background in working with special populations. This could include on the job experience with persons with disabilities (intellectual, mental health); experience teaching children with diagnosis; parenting a child with some type of learning disability or other health impairment; etc. Our Recruiters can talk to you about exploring your background and discovering how you may meet this requirement.
What if it doesn’t work out with the foster child in my home?
Although our staff will work with you through any difficulties you are having with the child in your home, should you find it necessary to have that child removed, foster parents are required to give 30 days’ notice for removal from their home- unless there is a safety issue that necessitates immediate removal. This allows us and DCFS an opportunity to find another placement that matches the child’s needs.
How long does the child stay in my home and can I adopt the child?
Children in our program have certain permanency goals. This means they may be working to go back to their biological family, planning to age out of care when they turn 18 and live independently, or they are free for adoption. A child could be with you for a short period or for years. If you are interested in adopting an older child, you can specify that you would like to foster the child first. Adoptions are completed through DCFS, but the child can be in your home leading up to the adoption.
Can I take the foster child on vacation?
Yes. Prior notice must be given to the legal custodian (DCFS) and your Methodist Foster Care worker and we must know where you are going- address, etc. if it is out of state.
Can the kids play sports and/or participate in extra-curricular activities?
Yes. We encourage you to keep your foster child as active as possible. They should be given opportunities to explore their interests.