Become a Foster Parent

Who is a Foster Parent?

A foster parent is someone who temporarily takes care of a child in the custody of a county. A foster family can be a one or two parent family, with or without your own children. While there are no “perfect” foster families, they do have shared values and qualities including stability, maturity, commitment, dependability, flexibility, team oriented and a sense of humor.

Foster parents are, in effect, professional parents who will:

  • Accompany children to visits and appointments.
  • Enroll them in school.
  • Be an active part of their treatment plan.
  • Engage biological families.

Treatment Foster Care Description and Services

The UMCH Family Services Foster Team specializes in Treatment Foster Care. When used to describe Foster Care, the word “treatment” refers to an advanced level of therapeutic assistance for the child in care. Our Treatment Foster Families offer safe, nurturing home environments for children to practice new or rediscovered skills when they are not ready or able to live with their families of origin.

Treatment Foster Families receive ongoing training from UMCH beyond that required for traditional foster care. Treatment Families become a skilled, integral part of the UMCH Multidisciplinary Team, working closely with and receive 24/7 support from case managers, supervisors, therapists and others based on the needs of the child.

We are unique in that our agency provides all treatment team services within the agency itself from psychiatrist, psychologist and nurse to treatment coordinator and supervisor. Our Treatment Foster Care program is goal-oriented, time-limited and family-centered.

We recommend homes for licensure, regularly interact with our foster families and operate with a low foster home to case manager ratio, which allows for individualized attention.
We also provide traditional foster care for children who do not require a treatment-focused environment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Foster Care

Who can foster?

Legally married couples, non-married couples or single individuals who are 18 years of age or older, able to pass background checks, live in a home that you own or rent, and have income to meet basic needs are eligible to foster.

What are the training requirements?

Prospective foster parents are required to attend 36 hours of training referred to as Pre-Service Training. Training is offered through UMCH Family Services on a quarterly basis. Training schedules are available to view on our website. This training must be completed before a home assessment can be approved.

What is a home assessment?

A home assessment is a combination of collected information and interviews that are compiled into a document that represents your family. A certified adoption assessor meets with your family to assess items such as child rearing skills, life experiences, and strengths to determine the type of foster child each individual could best parent. A criminal background check, fire inspection, safety audit and medical examination are also required.

What if I am already a licensed foster parent?

UMCH Family Services will work with your current agency to determine if a transfer can be facilitated.

What is the income requirement to foster?

Individuals need to have an income sufficient to meet their needs and maintain their household without foster care reimbursements.

Do foster parents have any say in the child or children who come into their home?

Yes. During the home study, you will have an opportunity to determine the characteristics of the foster child or children you have in your home. Also, you will be given all of the information that has been provided to the agency about a child in need of placement and then you will decide whether or not you would like that child placed in your home.

How old are the children in your foster care program?

We see children from newborn to age 18 who are in need of a foster home. In some cases, young adults up to age 21 may remain in foster care.

How long are children in foster care?

The time a child is in foster care can vary greatly. A child can be in care a few days, a few weeks, a few months or even years. Each case is unique.

Do foster parents receive any type of reimbursement?

Yes, you will get paid a daily rate called a per diem. This daily rate will depend on the child’s level of care which they are assigned when they enter the foster care system. This payment is made to foster parents once a month via direct deposit.

Do foster parents pay for childcare?

As a part of the per diem, you can pay for childcare for your foster child or children.

Do foster parents pay for a child’s clothing?

As a part of the per diem, you are expected to buy appropriate clothing for your foster child or children.

Do foster parents pay for a child’s medical expenses?

No, foster children enter care with medical coverage.

Can I be dually approved to foster and adopt?

Yes, through UMCH Family Services you can be approved as “Foster to Adopt.” In this case, individuals would foster children and would work towards reunification unless an adoption plan is made.

Adoption and Foster Care are tremendous commitments you make to a child or multiple children. When you choose to foster or adopt, you agree to support, encourage, nurture and love a child. It’s an exciting and challenging decision. The information below will tell you more about the processes.

Links

Foster Care and Adoption standard rules: UMCH Family Services holds an active approval and certification to provide both Foster Care and Adoption Services for the State of Ohio. For the minimal standard rules that govern our business practices view Rule 5101:2-5.

Standards for Providing Foster Child Care: As Foster Parents are certified and approved to care for Foster Children in their home, they also are held to a standard in providing care for children as detailed in Rule 5101:2-7.