Who is a Foster Parent?
Foster parents come from all walks of
life and they have backgrounds as diverse as the children they care for. All
kinds of families can care for foster children. Some foster parents are married,
some are in same sex couples, and some are single. Some foster parents own a
home and some rent. Foster parents may already have children and some are
grandparents. What these parents all have in common are their love for children,
the ability to commit to meeting challenges, and a strong desire to make a
difference in their foster children’s lives.
Those foster parents who provide care to children they do not know are called General Foster Care Providers. People who become General Foster Care providers do so because of a strong desire to help children and youth. Providers receive training in child development and care and work closely with the Department of Human Services to provide care for the child. Providers receive reimbursement to help offset the costs of the child’s care. Medical and dental costs for the child are covered by Medicaid. The stipend reimbursement is based upon the needs of the child and will vary from provider to provider.
One must meet the requirements listed below to become a licensed foster care provider.
Requirements to Become a Foster Parent
- Be at least 21 years of age;
- Be in good physical and emotional health;
- Exhibit family stability and good communication skills;
- Sufficient income to support self and family;
- Meet State requirements for housing, safety, space and equipment;
- Open to learning new styles of parenting;
- A U.S. citizen or legal resident;
- Pass a criminal background check;
Ability to accept and appreciate cultural differences.
Foster Care Certification
General Foster Care Providers are required to be certified to provide care for a child. This is to ensure that the provider is prepared to meet the numerous needs of a child who has been neglected or abused. It also ensures that the child receives the best care possible in a family environment.
The certification process is completed by Denver
Human Services with each prospective home and takes approximately 90 -120 days.
The process includes:
- Fingerprinting to screen for criminal background and child abuse registry;
- Home study by a social worker; Safety inspection of the home;
- Three letters of recommendation; CPR and First Aid certification;
- Current medical physicals for each family member; CORE training – 27 hours of classroom training on the fundamentals of foster care;
- 20 hours of annual continuing education
Support Foster Families Receive From the Department of Human Services
- Reimbursement to help offset the cost of the child’s care;
- Medicaid insurance to cover the child’s medical & dental costs;
- The child’s therapeutic costs are paid by the Department of Human Services or provided by community agencies;
- Orientation, Core Pride and ongoing training;
- Monthly foster parent support groups;
- An On-Going Social Worker assigned to the case for on-going support;
- A Foster Care Support Worker to help the foster Parent complete and maintain requirements for certification.
- Foster Care Annual Luncheon