What are Foster Parents?
Foster Parents are individuals who undergo the process of fostering a child; the fostering process is undertaken within the realm of family law, which involves the placement of a an individual – who is typically classified as a child or minor – under the supervision of an individual or individuals not classified or identified as that individual’s legal guardian or birth parent.
Typically, Foster Parents enter into participation within the foster care system with the understanding that traditional foster placement exists on a temporary basis. Prior to the assignment of Foster Parents, a variety of relative family members – such as cousins and grandparents – may be sought out with regard to the attribution of supervision overan individual.
Furthermore, due to its temporary nature, Foster Parents will be made aware that the implementation of the Fostering process will be initiated only after the prospect of familial reunification has been overruled.
A ‘How-to’ Guide for Foster Parents
The following information may serve as a guide for individuals interested in becoming Foster Parents:
Step 1: Investigation
Prior to the commitment of fostering an individual, prospective Foster Parents are encouraged to conduct a substantial amount of research with regard to the circumstances, events, and conditions implicit within the fostering process. Potential foster parents are encouraged to investigate increased financial burdens, adjusted dynamics within one’s household, as well as the legislative obligation undertaken – subsequent to fostering an individual, Foster Parents will be required to participate in meetings, inspections, and correspondence with applicable legislative agencies.
Step 2: Understanding the Difference between Adoption and Fostering
While both prospective activities involve the placement of an individual under the responsibility of another individual or individuals not classified as birth parents, there exist a wide range of differences latent within the definition of adoptive parents and that of foster parents – while adoption maintains permanence, foster care typically does not. As a result, prospective foster parents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the expressed stipulation and statutes with regard to the duration implicit within fostering.
Step 3: Contacting the Applicable Institutions
Primarily, Foster Parents’ journeys will begin upon contacting the governmental department responsible for the placement, regulation, and oversight of family and human services; once this particular department is contacted, the following steps may be undertaken:
Upon contacting the applicable department, prospective foster parents will be given a list of accredited and participating foster care facilities
Applications will be required for submission; typically, these applications will include the medical records, professional references, financial records, and criminal records belonging to potential foster parents
Subsequent to the first of many required approvals, foster parents will be required to participate in a variety of interviews and meetings with government-appointed specialists; this may include an inspection of the home belonging to prospective foster parents, as well as a psychological evaluation undertaken
Subsequent to the satisfaction of these inspections and interviews, foster parents will be required to complete anywhere from 10 to 30 hours of instructional classes and information sessions; upon completion, potential foster parents will receive official certification permitting them to legally foster another individual
Upon the receipt of a foster certification, potential foster parents will be considered as eligible foster parents and commence in a discussion with the department responsible for fostering in their residential jurisdiction; this final meeting will determine the child whom will be fostered