Foster Parents

Requirements for Foster Parents

A foster parent is not required to own his or her own home in order to participate in the foster care program. The requirements for foster parenting differ from state to state. However, generally some of the requirements include:

  • Parent must be 21 years of age or older.

  • Parent must obtain a license.

  • Parent must have space for a foster child.

  • Character references.

  • Criminal background check.

  • Safe home for the foster child.

  • Financial stable household.

  • Family assessment.

Each state has pre-service and training requirements as well. These requirements vary greatly from state to state.

Once foster parents have been selected the child or children are delivered to their home. A caseworker is appointed to oversee the placement and to observe how the placement is going. Periodic visits and reporting may be part of the caseworker's job.

Rights of a Foster Parent

The foster parent has several rights including, but not limited to:

  • To be treated with respect.

  • Receive support services that will assist the foster child in her adjustment.

  • Be informed of all information concerning the foster child and their history.

  • Receive financial assistance for the basic needs of the foster child.

  • Be informed of all information involving their role as a foster parent.

  • Be assured confidentiality in issues relating to their family.

  • Participation regarding the permanency of placement for the foster child.

Although foster parenting may eventually lead to adoption of the foster child, the goal of foster parenting is to provide a temporary and safe environment for the child. In some instances the foster child is unable to be returned to their home environment for whatever reason and the foster parent seeks to adopt the child. The foster parent is required to go through the same process for adopting the foster child even though the foster child may have lived with the foster parent for a number of months or even years.

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