The decision of becoming a foster parent is always a noble one, no matter what the reasons behind it. But becoming a foster parent is easier said than done. There are certain requirements that need to be met, apart from the obvious parenting skills and dedication one needs to prove deep inside his or her heart prior to taking any legal action. To come to your help, here is what you need to know if you are planning on becoming a foster parent.
First, you need to be at least 21 (or have a different minimum age depending on the state you are in), and you need to be earning enough money so you are able to properly support your family. You are not allowed to depend on foster care reimbursements from the state, if you are thinking of adopting a child. Your home also needs to meet the minimum safety, sanitary and fire standards and the house needs to have a distinctive room for the foster child. You need to have plenty of beds for all the family members and you need to be able to pass a criminal background check the proper way.
There are also physical and mental capabilities one needs to demonstrate in order to be able to adopt a child and become a foster parent. Any alcohol or drug problems will prevent you from being able to become a foster parent.
Foster parent training is also necessary, and it involves learning about medical coverage for foster children, monthly stipend paid by the state, counseling for foster children or daycare coverage. Any potential foster parent or family needs to complete 12 hours of in-service training each year. This is absolutely necessary for potential foster parents who are still part of a foster care program. Of course all the training programs can differ from state to state, as each state has its own regulations regarding adopting foster children.
A foster parent also needs to know about the foster care reimbursement; the state you live in and where you are planning to adopt a child needs to pay you a fixed or regular stipend, which is intended for your foster child’s care. The sum will depend on the age of your child, his or her medical conditions or behavioral status, and the money is not to be used for any other purpose than the care of your foster child.
There are many foster care agencies in each U.S. state, so if you are interested in becoming a foster parent you can contact one of these agencies and ask for all the details regarding the requirements and training sessions.