FOSTERING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Marital Status: Do I have to be married to qualify?
No, you do not have to be married to qualify as a foster parent; however, a single parent is required by law to identify a back-up sitter that will be available to support them, if necessary. That backup sitter must be background screened and approved by the Department of Children and Families.
Family Composition: How many children are we able to care for?
Limitations with regards to the number of children and ages of children to be served are based on observation of the stamina, capacities and skills of the parents as well as the physical accommodations of the home.
There should be no more than five total children, including birth children within the foster home. There should be no more than two infants under the age of two in the family, including biological children.
Adequate Space: How much space do we need to foster?
There must be sufficient/adequate space for our children. Each child must have their own bed and each infant their own crib/toddler bed. The child must be provided with adequate storage space for his personal belongings and a space designated for hanging clothes in or near the bedroom he will be occupying in your home.
Children in care cannot share a bedroom with any adult, except for infants twelve months or younger. Also, any child over the age of three must not share a bedroom with a child of the opposite sex.
Recent Loss or Transitional Period:
If married, the parents should have a stabilized, legal marriage, of at least one year, prior to seeking licensure. If divorced, widowed, or having recently experienced the death of a child, the parent will be asked to wait one year before seeking to become a licensed foster parent.
Age Requirements: How old is too old?
There are no age restrictions; however, the age of a foster parent must be considered in relation to psychological maturity, health, physical energy, flexibility, ability to care for a specific child as well as the probable duration of placement of a child within the foster home.
Income: Do foster parents have to make a certain income to qualify?
Foster Parents must have sufficient income to ensure their stability and the security of their own family without relying on the foster care stipend. Income must be sufficient to endure 4 – 6 weeks of a child’s expenses until a parent is reimbursed by the stipend.
Applicants are required to share the health history on each member of the household including physical, mental health, and other treatments received which may impair their ability to care for a child. A medical release will be required from your physician stating that you are physically and emotionally able to care for a child in your home.
Religion: May I bring a foster child to my church? A foster parent must be willing to provide a foster child the opportunity for participation in the faith of his choice or that is requested by the birth family. A parent whose religious preference, or other spiritual connections preclude the use of a licensed medical physician for foster children, may not be licensed.
Transportation: What if I don’t drive?
If a foster parent does not possess a driver’s license, they must submit a detailed plan as to how they will be able to fulfill their parenting responsibilities and transport the child to/from necessary locations. The plan must specifically address how the parent will take the child to medical/dental appointments, pick the child up from school when ill, transport to/from extracurricular activities, therapeutic appointments, visitation, etc.
All vehicles used to transport foster children must be in safe condition and in compliance with applicable motor vehicle laws including the use of seat belts for all passengers.
Proof of liability insurance and a valid driver’s license is required from every prospective parent and backup sitter.
Every child under the age of 4 must be transported in an appropriate car seat.