The process to becoming a foster parent is outlined in the 6-step Home Assessment Process.
Step 1: Initial Contact: Contact Flourish and express your interest in becoming a foster parent.
Step 2: Orientation Meeting: You will attend a meeting that provides an overview of foster parenting.
Step 3: The Home Visit: An initial walk-through safety check will be completed at your home.
Step 4: Impact Pre-Service Training Classes: You will be invited to attend 24 hours of IMPACT training.
Step 5: Mutual Assessment & Home Study: Home visits and interviews will be conducted. CPR/FIRST AID Training must be in place prior to approval.
Step 6: Placement: You will receive a foster child placement.
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS I NEED TO BECOME A GOOD FOSTER PARENT?
Stability. Patience. Ability to nurture. Maturity. Commitment. Dependability. Flexibility. Sense of Humor. Enjoys children and is an advocate of them. Team player willing to work with assigned social worker, birth parents as needed, and community services.
WHO ARE THE CHILDREN IN NEED OF PLACEMENT?
Children referred to our agency have been removed from their homes by the Department of Family and Children’s Services due to abuse or neglect and are in need of temporary substitute homes. Children come from all socio-economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. They range in age from infancy to age 21. The average length of time a child remains in foster care is one year and seven months. Most children will return to their birth families though some children remain in foster care throughout their teen years. If a foster child becomes available for adoption, foster parents may apply to be considered as an adoptive family for the child or children.
IS THERE FINANCIAL HELP AVAILABLE FOR FOSTER FAMILIES?
Yes, foster parents are given an amount each month to defray the cost of caring for each child they foster. The exact rate is based on the age and needs of a child. In addition, when a child first enters care, the state provides an initial clothing allowance of $200 for children birth to 12 years and $300.00 for youth ages 13 and over. An additional yearly clothing allowance of $200 is also provided. (May be subject to change)
WHAT TYPES OF CHILDREN ARE MOST IN NEED OF FOSTER CARE IN OUR COMMUNITY?
Teenagers. Sibling groups. Therapeutic Children under the age of 5.
DOES THE CHILD HAVE MEDICAL INSURANCE?
Yes, each child’s medical expenses are covered by Medicaid. Other child related services such as psychological, psychiatric, and speech therapy are services the State will pay for depending on the needs of the child. Safety items such as car seats are usually purchased by foster parents, who are reimbursed.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM INCOME REQUIREMENT TO BE ELIGIBLE TO FOSTER A CHILD OR CHILDREN?
It is necessary for the fostering parents to have sufficient income to support their current family’s needs before adding an additional child to their family. Foster Parents will be required to provide proof of income & a household budget.
IS HOME OWNERSHIP A REQUIREMENT?
No, you can rent or own an apartment, single-family house or condominium.
CAN I WORK OUTSIDE OF MY HOME?
Yes, provided the plan is guided by the needs of the child. The State provides daycare services to foster families who work full time outside the home.
IS THERE A LIMIT TO THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN MY HOME?
Yes. Currently, in the state of Georgia, there is a maximum of 6 children allowed in the home (this number includes your own children).
IF A CHILD IS REFERRED TO MY FAMILY, DO I HAVE THE OPTION OF REFUSAL?
Yes. If you think that the placement of a particular child will not work with the dynamics of your family, you have the right to refuse placement of that child.
CAN SINGLE PARENTS BECOME A FOSTER PARENT?
Yes, fostering by single parents is permissible and supported.
DOES A RECENT MARRIAGE, DIVORCE, BIRTH OF A CHILD OR OTHER MAJOR CHANGE IN THE FAMILY AFFECT THE APPLICATION PROCESS?
Yes. Any major life change will be assessed on an individual basis. Sometimes a brief wait is encouraged. Families need stability before considering the addition of a child.