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
Royal Palm Beach woman honored as a Foster Parent of the Year
Seven years ago Royal Palm Beach resident Paulina Browne's life changed when she decided to take in her first foster child. Since then Browne has built a reputation for taking in often difficult to place teenagers from the CHOICES Children and Families Consortium along with special needs children.Media Advisory/The Foster Parent Survival Guide: How to Navigate the Child Welfare Matrix Book Launch
RICHMOND HILL, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 11, 2013) - Canadian author Landy Anderson launches her book The Foster Parent Survival Guide: How to Navigate the Child Welfare Matrix during the Canadian Foster Family Association's annual conference.
REMINDER-Media Advisory/The Foster Parent Survival Guide: How to Navigate the Child Welfare Matrix Book Launch
RICHMOND HILL, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 13, 2013) - Canadian author Landy Anderson launches her book The Foster Parent Survival Guide: How to Navigate the Child Welfare Matrix during the Canadian Foster Family Association's annual conference.County Legislature Recognizes May As National Foster Parent Appreciation Month
Each year in the U.S., approximately 30,000 young people leave the foster care system without lifelong families. Devoted foster parents are making great efforts to change the life of a child or youth in foster care by providing them with the security and stability that they need. Continue reading
Adoption Assistance Agreement
Baby to go to family
June 12, 2013, 10:29 am
How do I prepare for my jellybean to leave my home to go to family? I am an emotional person by nature and have fallen in love with this munchkin. We are fost/adopt so I had no plans to be a foster parent for this reason exactly. Any thoughts, ideas, and advice would b appreciated.Intro, and asking for help already!
June 8, 2013, 9:09 pm
Hi, everyone! I'm Kristin, and brand new here...I did a Google search for foster parent forums and found you guys - and boy, am I relieved to have found you. :) We just got the call for our first placement on Monday - a one-year-old boy. We didn't get him until dinnertime, and had been warned...
For what reason did you "retire" from foster parenting?
June 13, 2013, 7:17 pm
[long]Come on, it is from TempMom, you know it is going to be long. Nobody has ever accused me of being too succinct.[/long] I just finished watching First Circle, again. I had forgotten about it. And as I posted on FB to my friends to watch it if they have time so they can see a bit of my life...FD12, 5 ppl want custody/adopt and she has decide
June 13, 2013, 10:06 am
It turns out that gma was able to get a family friend to file of custody for my FD12 and her sisters 7 and 3. CW went to her house yesterday and things seemed good maybe too good. So that means court on July 11th we'll go through Dad's petition for custody as well as this lady's who my kid has...
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.