Questions About the
Q: What is a Foster Parent?
A: A foster parent works as a partner
with the Child Services Division providing out-of-home care for children who
are temporarily placed outside of their biological families. The foster
parents provide self-esteem building, stability, guidance and nurturing for
all children in their care. They also:
children feel they have a home of their own
children maintain and improve relationships with others
children adjust well in school
Understand the importance of the children's bond with their biological
the needs of their own children while sharing their family with the
children in their care
In the event children are not reunited with their biological parents, we
encourage foster parents to consider becoming a legal guardian or adoptive
parent. Foster parents should be:
Emotionally mature, with enough income to meet their own needs
18 years of age
good health (determined by physical examination) and with energy enough to
work well with children
Without conviction of a crime (other than a minor traffic violation).
Police records will be evaluated through required fingerprints
Without a substantiated allegation of Child Abuse as determined through a
Child Abuse Index Check
Every member of the family must be willing to accept a foster child as a
part of the family.
Q: What is the difference between a foster parent, a legal guardian and an
A: FOSTER PARENT
A foster parent is a person who furnishes food, clothing, housing and
nurturing to a child who can no longer (for whatever reason) live with his
birth parents. When a child is in foster care, the birth parents still have
rights and responsibilities such as inheritance and visitation rights. A
foster parent is always under the supervision of the child welfare agency.
Foster parents usually have the expectation the children they are caring for
will be reunited with their biological parents in the future.
A legal guardian is a person who is given the legal authority and
responsibility to care for a child. A guardian may be related or unrelated
to a child. Guardianship suspends the rights and responsibilities of the
birth parents. A child may still inherit from the parents if a guardianship
exists. The court may order visitation with the parents or other relatives
as a part of its decision. The legal responsibilities of a guardian are much
greater than those of a foster parent. It is a formal commitment made
between the child and the guardian. Foster parents (as well as other
interested parties such as relatives) may become legal guardians.
An adoptive parent is a person who has legally adopted a child. When a child
is adopted, all parental rights are terminated, including inheritance and
visitation rights. When a person adopts a child, the legal relationship with
that child is the same as a child born to that person. An adopted child
becomes your own child in all respects.
Q: Is there a minimum age for Foster Parents?
A: Yes. You must be eighteen years of age or older in order to obtain
Q: Is there a maximum age for Foster Parents?
A: No. However, you must be in good physical and mental health and
capable of caring for children.
Q: I'm single. Will I still be able to obtain a license?
A: Yes. We have many excellent Foster Parents who are single.
Q: I'm partnered, but not married. Will I still be able to obtain a license?
Q: Can same-sex couples obtain a license?
Q: What else is expected of us as Foster Parents?
A foster child in your home needs full-time care and supervision. The child
must be under the general supervision of a reliable adult at all times.
Adequate supervision of a child must be provided in your absence.
FIRST AID and CPR
All adult caregivers in the household shall have completed First Aid and CPR
training and be able to provide verification of current certification.
Must be fair, reasonable and consistent and must be related to the offense.
Unacceptable forms of discipline include:
Corporal punishment which includes spanking, striking, whipping, slapping
or any other form of discipline that inflicts the child with physical pain
is not allowed, even though the child's parents may have given consent.
Disobeying this regulation is cause for the revocation of a foster home
Punishment connected with sleeping, eating or toilet training shall not be
used nor punishment which would cause the child humiliation.
We encourage foster parents to provide transportation for children in their
care to medical appointments, counseling appointments, and sibling and
The religious beliefs of the child or his family must be observed. Each
child must be given the opportunity to attend religious services and
activities of his faith or that of his parents, except where permission to
do otherwise has been given by the parent.
SOCIAL and RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Social and recreational activities of children are necessary for their
healthy development. Therefore, foster parents must make it possible for
each child to have a part in the social and recreational life of the
A child can grow only when he is fed well. What he eats shall be
well-balanced, adequate and suitable for the age of each child. Meals must
be served regularly.
A child needs training in personal hygiene and cleanliness. Each child must
have his own comb, toothbrush, towel, washcloth and other necessary toilet
A child's appearance affects his self-esteem. Each child shall have their
own clothing that is attractive, well fitting and in good repair.
Q: What is an alternate caretaker?
A: An alternate caretaker is a person designated by foster parents to
care for foster children when they are not home. An alternate caretaker
undergoes the same background checks as a foster parent (i.e.,
fingerprinting, TB test, criminal history, DMV, Child Abuse Index, etc.). An
alternate caretaker must be over 18 years of age. Foster parents must have a
designated alternate caretaker who can care for the children placed in their
home when they are unavailable.
Q: Is there a Foster Parent Association?
A: Yes. More information about this will be given out at Orientation.
Licensing | About the Application |
About the Caretaker
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