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Foster Parenting

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Foster care is a state-run program that allows stand-in parents, referred to as foster parents, to care for minor children who have been removed from their biological homes. There are a number of reasons why children might be removed from their biological homes, including abuse and neglect.

Often, parents who have had their children removed from their homes are given a plan to follow. The plan could include entering and successfully completing rehab, securing a job or a safe place to live, or attending and participating in a pre-determined number of counseling sessions. Once the biological parents complete the steps or plan given to them by the courts, full custody will be restored. However, until that happens, children all over the country need a safe, stable, and loving place to live. And that's where foster parenting and foster homes come into the picture.The main goal of foster care is reunification. However, it isn't uncommon for children placed in foster care to become available for adoption at some point.

If you're interested in becoming a foster parent and opening your home to children in need, you'll have to complete a few steps before you're licensed. Each state completes their process a little differently, but, generally, each state will have similar requirements.

Some requirements to become a foster parent may be:

  • Background check and finger printing
  • Comprehensive homestudy to ensure child safety
  • Classroom training hours
  • First aid certification
  • Medical clearances for all adults and children currently in the home

Once you've completed the requirements for your state, you will usually get a paper copy of your license, either in the mail or hand delivered, or at least a call from your local Child Welfare Office to inform you that you're certified to foster.

Licensed foster parents are usually reimbursed expenses accrued throughout the month by way of monthly stipend, sent from the state or agency you're working with. It is not uncommon for parents to spend well beyond the monthly allotment in order to care for the children in their care, so ensuring your ability to care for children is a very important step when deciding to become licensed. However, that stipend will help considerably.

Depending on the age range you've chosen, you could start getting calls even before your license has arrived. The need for qualified foster and foster adoptive homes in the United States is great, and taking the steps to become a licensed foster parent is a fantastic way to help children in your state who need a safe place to call home.

Being a foster parent can be emotionally taxing, especially when it's time for a foster child to move homes or be adopted into a permanent home. The ability to love instantly but let go easily is crucial. It won't be easy to do, and you won't always be able to do it. But know that those children are progressing and having new life experiences, and you've been able to positively affect them and their lives.

We're sorry, New Jersey does not currently feature children in The Adoption.com Photolisting. Contact your state officials if you'd like to see children waiting for adoption in the Adoption.com photolisting.

Foster Parenting Community Discussions

Foster Parenting Blogs

Space for Older Foster Children: The Importance of Space of Love
November 21, 2012, 2:01 pm
Rumor warned against becoming foster parents of older children while having younger children. That's the advice I'd heard for years....
Words I Hate to Say
August 16, 2013, 2:54 pm
Five months ago our life exploded. We went from being just the two of us for five years, to being all four of us in five days...
The Outside Looking In
August 26, 2013, 8:08 pm
My daughter met a new friend last year towards the end of the school year in theafter school programofferedthere.Both me and my...

Foster Parenting Forums

Help
September 1, 2014, 11:14 pm
Even with long hair is nighttime baths nec? Give her time she just got there it's a huge adjustment
I think I'm going to like her
September 1, 2014, 10:47 pm
That's awesome! Hopefully she can get your CW's butt in gear. I've only had one GAL (first case), but he has been awesome. He took time...
2 1/2 yr old
September 1, 2014, 9:48 pm
I had almost the EXACT same scenerio happen to us for our first placement. For me and my little guy- explaining things to hI'm was key. He...
Visitor Comments (45)
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aaron - 1 year ago
2 2 37
I was just placed in my cousins place and they are about to become my full guardians/foster parents. i am so glad i am out of my dads house. so much physical and emotional stuff going on...even though it took CPS 16 years to do it(I'm 17 now). I'm getting stuff done in school and will be graduating for sure so I can join the United States Marine Core. My life goal is to get the rank of an E9 Master Gunnery Sergeant in the USMC. I know I'll get there! :D #1
HOPE - 1 year ago
0 3 13
DONT WORRY EVERY THING WILL GET BETTER SOON #2
Cortney - 1 year ago
3 4 11
I've been looking into being a foster parent. It's something that has been weighing on my heart for a long time, I would love to show a child that someone can care about them. Does anyone know what the process is if you want to end up adopting a child that you foster? #3
Robert - 12 months ago
0 0 6
My wife and I were Blessed with being able to adopt a new born son. We sat threw labor and even cut the cord. So we decided to Foster kids while their parents went threw the state problems. Such as Drugs and what not. We have had 4 beautiful kids come stay with us so far Two 2 year old girls at one time.They stayed for almost one year. The first mommy was and is still on drugs. But the state found the bio dad and he wanted to steppup and be Dad. It took him 9 months to do every thing he had o do and know that baby is with her Dad. I cried the day she left but in my heart I knew she was were God meant her to be. That was 5 months ago and Dad stays in touch with us all the time, The second baby has a wonderful mom that was doing bad stuff. It took having her kid removed to help her get over pills. That mom busted her **** got a job and is now back with her child and doing great. Fostering is hard. It take effort and drive We will foster because it is the right thing to do. #4
fostercare is a positive thing - 2 years ago
2 2 9
foster care helps your kid or kids learn love, care, understanding. the foster parents help you and are always open for you to talk to and let things out. i am one of those kids who has learned all that from being in fostercare for 10 months in oklahoma . #5
hope to my life - 11 months ago
0 0 4
My life, I hope you know that you are cared for, that it may seem that you are alone you are not. When things get the hardest I hope you cry to God. God, puts people in our lives to make up for where others mess up...our parents where not capable to give us THE LOVE THAT WE DESERVE and please know that. Your biological parents didn't not love u but sometimes people are born into this world crippled. I have took look at my parents inadequacies as just that they were incapable of being the parent I needed. You deserve love, you deserve happiness, and you never know what life would be like if you weren't where you are today. Let the pain make you beautiful and grow to be better than the hurt. I decided I would not let pain make me ugly on the inside. I will allow it to show exactly of what I never want to do or be. Forgiveness happens when we seek it and I prayed for it so I too wouldn't become the people I couldn't forgive and somehow God did it for me. I felt-seen the pain.It wil be ok #6
Nannette - 1 year ago
1 3 7
These reading are so sad I have been a foster parent for 17 years and have many children in my home. I never have allowed them to think their parents did not love them. They would also want what's best for their child and sometimes it is to let someone else give them what forever reason. I am not talking money or things. I am talking comfort of knowing you can eat tomorrow and a place to sleep or clothes on your back and proper education. Along with that hopefully the love that will keep you going until they are capable of doing so. Never should you guys believe that your parents do not love you and as a foster parent each of us will try to feel that void until that happens. I have had many children and most of my teens have called and kept in touch with us and some have had a home even after they leave foster care if they have no where to go. I love my work and people ask me how many kids I have and I say I cant remember #7
Lynn - 8 months ago
0 0 3
My husband and I just became certified to be foster / adoption parents. I have always wanted to help children in need. I dont have any biological children of our own because I am unable to have children. Even before I found out that I could not have children of my own I have always wanted to help children in need of a forever home and unconditional love. I believe that this is my purpose in life. I love children and have a big heart to give lots of love to any age ,race,or disabled child. I want to adopt a child that is living in one of those group foster homes. I am willing to take any age child. I read these story's and it makes me happy so many children have been saved / helped. I just wish I could choose one or more of the children in the group homes who have been there awhile. My heart aches for them all. Anyway I am looking forward to helping and making a difference in any child's life. #8
Guest - 8 months ago
0 0 4
Im looking for my brother and sister Christopher Sandoval and Sheri Sandoval #9
Matt - 10 months ago
0 0 3
I have been a foster sibling to kids with pretty major medical disabilities for 20 years, since I was 3. my parents have taken care of 35 foster children in total and adopted 5 of them. it defiantly was not always easy but it gave me many life experiences and taught me patience and love. if there are any people out there considering becoming foster parents I strongly urge you to do so there are so many kids that need help, and so few willing to do so. my wife and I plan on becoming foster parents once we are able to. #10
Lisandra - 1 year ago
0 1 4
I would like to become a foster parent cause I love children but I don't have a place for them. I love to work with children I have done it before and its amaizing on what some kids have to go through at early age. I always dreamed of having a place for all the children that need love and care a place were theyll be free of harm. Blesiings to all of them and hope they grow up to be good people; and return with their famillies and be happy. #11
Ann - 1 year ago
0 1 3
I had a sibling placement of foster kids in my home for a combined 1 1/2 years. We first got them when they were just 3 1/2 and 12 days old. They just went into a home with people who want to adopt them, but we have realized the mistake we made when letting them go. We don't feel it is the best situation for them, and the foster son called today crying and wanting to come back. The adopting mom has stated to me in so many words that it has been overwhelming for her. She has already adopted, and has a 2 year old son who is extremely active. And he was adopted when he was just a few months old. Does anyone know if there is a chance that we could get them back? If so, where should we start? #12
Guest - 11 months ago
0 0 3
I would so love to give a child a lovin caring close family home children are my life and all I want is to help them b safe loved and help them make their goals in lofe #13
Noel - 1 year ago
1 3 5
I was in a foster home in South Carolina from December 27th, 1971 to June 28th, 1972. Any suggestions on how I can find out who my foster parents were??? I was reunited with my birth mother, but she doesn't have any information. I was born in Greenville. Thanks! #14
alejandro - 8 months ago
0 0 2
Hi I'm only 14 years old and as I when to this site and its making me wanna have a kid no matter what the problem the kid has I will love them forever and I can't wait to turn 25 so I can adopt . #15
Jen - 3 months ago
0 0 1
I was once a foster parent, but I gave the three kids back because one of the sibblings was getting wau out of hand. But when I asked the social worker for the one child to ne removed, she told me that They would have to take all three siblings. Now that I gave all three of them back to the state, would I be able to vet them back since I changed my mind? #16
Janice - 6 months ago
0 0 1
My parents fostered a baby named Peter in Worcester, Massachusetts, in late 50's from birth. At about 14 months, he was adopted by someone in the central New England, possibly Mass. area. Birth mother named Maria, father last name possibly Mastrototoro, or similar. An emphatic, dominating, aggressive wonderful, bright child with curly brown-gold hair. #17
Sunrise Academy Childcare-Topeka - 6 days ago
0 0 0
Hi we would like to know if you would have the need of our childcare services? We offer childcare in one of our two facilities located at 2201 SE 22nd or 3636 SW Devon Topeka Ks.. The Devon home cares for children newborn to 12 years of age. The second home is setup for teens 13-18 who because of their mental or physical disabilities have to have constant care. If we can be of service to your or your clients please feel free to contact us @ xxxxx, xxxx Thank you. #18
jennifer - 7 months ago
0 1 1
I'm jenniefr faro,22yrs old, my parents started drinking when I was 18yrs old after my mother found out my father was cheating on her with her best,they would get drunk and startfigthing its too much for me I need help. #19
charles - 7 days ago
0 0 0
Hi,am charles.i really need a foster parents to be with them and i will be faithful to them as my real parents.u really respect,self-confident,caring,humble and hardworking.please email me xxxx #20
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