A foster parent is charged with the care of a child because the child's biological parent (or regular guardian) is unable to take care of them. This amount of responsibility is no small matter, and as a result, there is a lot to learn before becoming a foster parent. If you have recently been considering fostering and aren't sure where to start, take a look at the three things below that you will have to do in order to complete the licensing process.
You may be surprised at the amount of paperwork that is needed on the road to becoming a foster parent, but state, federal, and private agencies will all want to see that your home is the best possible fit for a foster child. Be prepared to gather documents as varied as medical reports, identification papers (such as a copy of your social security card or driver's license), and even an official floor plan of your home. Financial documents such as tax returns, pay stubs, or other proof of regular income should be collected, too.
Take Necessary Courses
Once you have gathered all of the necessary documents and included them in your application packet, the next thing you'll want to do is enroll in any safety courses required by your state. These are usually courses in which you learn the basics of first aid and CPR. Other courses that are part of pre-approval training will likely offer the opportunity to learn more about the unique needs of foster children and how you can best meet them.
Complete a Home Inspection and Interview
One of the most crucial parts of the foster parent application process is the completion of a home inspection. Not only will your property itself be inspected since foster agency representatives will want to see if it is a suitable house for kids to live in, but you and any other family members who occupy the house will be interviewed at length. Before the interview, you may also be advised to prepare multiple references and complete a background check. While of course you should think about how to present yourself and your home in the most positive light, it is always best to be yourself. Foster system works will want to see a genuine desire to help children in need of a parent, and how you plan to accomplish this on a daily basis.