Frequently Asked Questions About Foster Care

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Why are children in foster care?

Foster Care is needed when children cannot remain with biological families for a variety of reasons. These include: physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; neglect; medical or physical disability of the child; or, the biological parents' emotional or physical needs.

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Are children in foster care waiting to be adopted?

Almost all children placed in foster care need temporary placements. There is no expectation that foster parents will adopt children placed with them, though some children are eventually adopted by their foster parents.

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Do foster parents have to be married?

No. Single adults, married couples, and partners living together can all be licensed as foster parents.

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Are foster parents allowed to work outside the home?

Yes. In most instances, child care funding is available when foster parents are employed outside the home.

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How do I pay expenses such as clothing, food, and shelter for foster children?

Each foster family receives a monthly stipend determined by the age and special needs of children placed with that family.

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Do I have to own my home to be a foster parent?

Renters as well as homeowners are encouraged to become foster parents. You do not have live in a single dwelling house. Apartments and duplexes qualify for foster care settings.

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Do foster children have to have their own bedroom?

No. Most foster children can share a bedroom with your children or with other foster children in your home. Boys and girls may not share a bedroom if they are over the age of six, and each foster child must have his/her own bed.

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Is it a hassle to become a licensed foster parent?

Foster children are vulnerable and need special care, so we screen all applicants. The length of licensing process is dependent on each family situation.

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How long will a foster child stay in my home?

There are a number of options in Foster Care and each child's situation is unique. Permancy plans are developed for each child in out-of-home care.  Our goal is to reunify the child with their biological family as soon as possible.

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Am I allowed to take foster children in my care on vacation?

With prior approval, children in foster care can accompany their foster families on vacation. When a foster child cannot accompany you, we will work with you to find respite care during vacation or times of need.

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Am I required to accept any child that needs placement?

No. You can be very specific about the type of foster care you provide and the age, gender, and needs of children you will accept. You always have a right to say refuse a placement.

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Am I responsible for the health care of foster children in my care

When children enter out-of-home care they are eligible to receive Title 19 (Medical Assistance) medical coverage. In some instances, a foster care child may also be covered under their parents' medical insurance plan. This coverage would continue while the child remains in foster care. Foster parents are not financially responsible for a foster child's healthcare needs.

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At what age can I become a foster parent?

Foster Parents must be at least 21 years of age, and all adult members of a household must be licensed (unless an exception is granted.)

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