Questions About Becoming a Foster Caregiver

How long does it take to become a foster parent?

The length of time varies, but it 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 Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to place their children into our homes.  The children in our care are in the custody of DCFS.  The typical age range of children needing a therapeutic level of foster care is from infancy to 17 years of age. Most children in care are teens.

Can I be a single parent and still be a foster parent?

Yes.  You may be single or legally married.

Will it cost me money to become a foster parent?

There may be some small purchases foster parents must make to get their home ready.  Among these items are a first aid kit, a small fire extinguisher, and a water-proof mattress cover for the child’s bed.

Additionally, all members of the home must complete a physical exam and TB testing.  Depending on your insurance, there may be costs 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 caring for in your home.

Can you explain the “experience” requirements?

Louisiana’s licensing regulations require that all Therapeutic Foster Parents have some type of background in working with special populations.  This can include on-the-job experience with persons with disabilities (intellectual, mental health); experience teaching children with diagnoses; 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 might a child remain 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 may 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, phone, etc. if you will travel 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.  All children benefit from opportunities to explore their interests.