There are over 400,000 children in the United States in need of a temporary home while issues with their birth parents or household are being resolved. Often this is due to neglect or physical and emotional abuse. A child's parents will be given time and resources for improving their parenting skills or coping with substance abuse or anger. If they are able to get control of their life, then they will be reunited with their child. This happens for about half of all the children in foster care. But, for parents who cannot get themselves together after 15 months, case workers will file for termination of the parents' rights.
Those who do not reunite with their birth family after 15 months either age out of the foster care system or are adopted. The majority of these children are adopted by their relatives or foster parents. About a fourth of all children in the U.S. foster system are waiting for placement into an adoptive home.
To foster a child, then, means step into the parental role for the child without the long-term commitment of adopting him or her. While there's a 25-percent chance the opportunity may come up, case workers will try to find an adoptive home for the foster child outside of the foster home as well.
To become a foster parent, one must fill out an application with a state agency and undergo an acceptance process similar to an adoption home study. Prospective foster parents will need a background check, letters of reference from friends and employers and a medical check-up to ensure the home is a healthy place. The foster home approval process may include additional licensing training, the hours and content of which varies by state.
Some public agencies require prospective adopters of older children foster a child before being placed with him or her. Depending on the state, an adopter may be able to participate in a fost-adopt or legal risk program that pairs children who are likely to have their birth parents' rights terminated by the state and in turn become available for adoption.
The prospect of this not happening, however, can be emotionally difficult for many parents. Therefore, it's important to recognize that fostering isn't a permanent arrangement and requires an ability to let go of a child after he or she has lived in one's home for anything from five months to two years.
See Also: Foster Parent Association
Foster parent charged with rape heads to court
A Colerain Township woman accused of sexually abusing children she babysat is scheduled to appear in a Hamilton County courtroom Thursday to either enter a plea or set a date for trial.Former Calgary foster parent on trial for sex charges
Once named foster parent of the year, Garry Prokopishin sat emotionless in a Calgary courtroom today as one of his former foster sons testified he was repeatedly molested over the four years he lived in Prokopishin's home.
Tennessee Foster Parent Verification Now Available Online
The Tennessee Department of ChildrenFormer Calgary foster parent's sexual exploitation trial begins
Garry Prokopishin sat emotionless in a Calgary courtroom today as one of his former foster sons testified he was repeatedly molested over the four years he lived in Prokopishin's home.
Foster Care And Adoption
Department Of Children And Family Services
Adoption Assistance Agreement
Specialized Foster Care
De Facto Adoption
facebook and courts
December 12, 2013, 8:48 am
Ok so peanuts mom has a public facebook and of course I always check on it and see what is new and hoping to see one day she post about the kids and how she misses them, which never happens . Well anyways my sister in law who use to be a foster parent years ago thinks we should print the...Fostering and domestic Infant adoption
December 11, 2013, 1:04 pm
Has any one of you been a foster parent while waiting on a match for domestic infant adoption? Any BTDT?
Better meeting with CW-Update
December 10, 2013, 10:35 pm
Pumpkin's CW came for a visit today. Things felt much more relaxed and comfortable. Thank God for that. Maybe our first meeting just caught her at a bad time. She did just have to make a three hour round trip to get Pumpkin from bm and deliver her to us. Between her and all the little birds at...Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This...
December 10, 2013, 7:09 pm
We've been officially licensed for 0-3 a couple weeks now and still no calls from our agency, even though they acted like it would be a matter of hours until we got a call :rolleyes: A fellow foster parent has called us for unofficial respite twice. Today the little girl went to daycare and...
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