What types of children are in State care?
Most children enter foster care because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. If the problems leading to placement are resolved, children are reunited with birth family. If not, children may become free for adoption. Children in state care range in age from birth to 18 and have various backgrounds.
How long will the whole process take?
There is no set answer for this actually. On an average, the process takes about 4 -6 months to become a licensed foster/adoptive parent. There are several requirements such as training classes, paperwork, criminal and background checks completed, a home study completed and becoming licensed.
What happens if we miss one of the classes during the training process?
You are allowed to miss up to 3 classes but they will have to be made up. We will help you find a makeup class for the specific week you are absent. We understand trips, business meetings, sickness are unavoidable.
Do I need to have a big house to become a licensed parent?
No specific size house is required. You do need to have at least a twin size bed for every child that you wish to accept in your home once you have been licensed. You need to have enough bedrooms to accept children into your home. Children cannot sleep in the same room with you unless they are under age 2. You will need to review the physical and licensing standards with your Foster/Adoptive worker to make sure your home meets the required standards.
I have biological children already. Can I be a foster/adoptive parent?
Yes. You have to meet licensing standards so you can only have a total of 5 or 6 children under age 17 in your home (requirement varies by agency) which includes foster/adoptive and biological. This limitation does not apply to adoptive families.
Do I have to own my home?
No. Foster parents may own, rent, or be in the process of buying a home, condo, or apartment. Families who rent must have their landlord’s permission to become foster parents. Your local municipality may also require an occupancy permit.
Do I have to be married?
No. You do not. You can be single, divorced, or legally separated.
How long does it take to become a foster or adoptive parent?
It takes four to six months to become a licensed parent, but having a license does not guarantee an immediate placement. Well-trained, competent families are needed, so there is an in-depth training and home-study process to complete.
Why do we need training?
Fostering and adopting is not the same as parenting a child born to you. Over time, you will need to talk with the child about his/her birth family or help the child manage his/her feelings about being adopted. The training provided helps you understand the unique needs of children in care and it will prepare you to help your children.
Who pays for medical expenses for foster child?
Medical and dental insurance are provided by the state while a child is in foster care and even after adoption of a child from foster care.
How do I begin, what are next steps?
One Heart typically hosts 3 STARS training classes each year; beginning in January, June and September. Applications are due at least 30 days prior to the start of class. If you would like to join our next STARS training class:
- First, please call us at the office to share how God has called you to this ministry.
- Currently, we are in need of families to foster children of all ages, specifically sibling groups of 3 or more.
- Local agencies are NOT willing to license families that are only interested in adoption.
- Once you have completed an application, return to us, and we will match you with a local licensing agency.
- You will then be contacted by that agency to confirm your acceptance for the class.
Please call our office with questions.