How do I become a foster parent? Am I eligible to adopt? Who do I speak to about board payments? These are just a few questions that are asked throughout the country when it comes to opening your heart and home to foster children. Depending on the state where you reside, answers vary. There are, however, some similarities nationwide. If you live in New Jersey and want information on how to become a foster or adoptive parent or need access to resources for your foster family, Foster and Adoptive Family Services’ (FAFS) Information Line is the place to call.
FAFS’ Information Line: Licensing Process
According to AdoptUsKids, if you are preparing to foster you must provide letters of reference, complete background checks, meet the age minimum requirement in your state and verify that your income covers your expenses.
Each state requires you to complete pre-service training and fill out a home study application to proceed with the process of opening your home. For in-depth information on the process of becoming a foster or adoptive parent, visit the AdoptUsKids website. Continue reading
Flood waters begin to rise into your home, and police lines are busy because first responders are out in the field during the hurricane. What are you and your family supposed to do while all this is happening? Where are you supposed to go? Who are you supposed to turn to? What do you do after it’s passed and pieces of your home and life are in rubble?
These are very real questions people ask in the face of disasters, both natural and man-made. That’s why organizations across the country offer Preparedness Courses. In NJ, Foster and Adoptive Family Services created the free Disaster Preparedness home correspondence and online courses for NJ licensed resource families.
The idea for the course started in March 2013.
“This was right after (Hurricane) Sandy,” trainer and course author Megan Ryan said. “There was a realization that there was a need.”
Disaster Preparedness Courses for Resource Parents : The Initial Courses
The first course in the four course series primarily focuses on what to do before an emergency. This includes things such as preparing an emergency kit, drafting a disaster plan and identifying your community’s plan. Continue reading
You may have been fostering for years but never considered adoption. A child in foster care comes into your home and takes a place in your heart forever. After being in your care for a while, you find out that he will soon be legally free and available for adoption. You know you want to adopt him, but you may be feeling overwhelmed and not sure of what steps to take. What do you do? When it comes to adoption, like countless things in life, there are many variables to consider.
According to Adopt America Network (AAN, there are approximately 130,000 children in care that are waiting for a forever home. Nationwide, the basic steps for adopting children from foster care include completing an initial application, participating in a home study, creating a match with an individual child, placing the child in the home and, lastly, the approval of adoption in the court of law. Of course, this is just a brief summary of the adoption process as it goes into great detail and varies depending on the state. Continue reading
Loss is an unavoidable part of life, but that fact doesn’t make coping with it any easier. For those involved in foster care, the grief of loss is often associated with the child who was removed from his home.
However, not much thought was given to the loss felt by the foster parents who have watched as the child in their care for years was reunited with his parents. That is, until recently.
Across the country, states now offer different forms of loss and grief training focusing on the loss foster parents feel when a child is removed from their home. While foster parent message boards offer moral support, states have moved towards offering programs to truly help foster parents cope.
That wasn’t always the case. Continue reading
Foster parenting is a 24/7 job with no days off! No wonder foster parents need easy access to support and information on their schedule – not just 9-5. When online support groups started in the early 80s, foster parents discovered a new way to get moral support and advice when they needed it, and the trend continues to grow today.
As you might guess, users say convenience is the best benefit of online support groups for foster parents. With both parents’ and kids’ schedules getting more and more demanding, the ability to get what you need, when you need it, is essential to everyone. More convenient for busy foster parents than traditional support groups with monthly or weekly face-to-face meetings, online support groups offer many other benefits as well. Continue reading
From Miriam Webster’s Dictionary: the word training is defined as the process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for an art, profession or job. Foster parent training and requirements vary among the fifty states and the District of Columbia.
Fifteen states require between four and nine hours of annual training. The majority of states (thirty-one) have requirements that range from ten to twenty hours per year.
Some states allow for training over a multiyear timeframe, such as Illinois’ regulation of sixteen hours over a four-year period and New Jersey’s requirement of 7 hours annually or 21 hours over a 3 year licensing cycle for Primary Providers. Continue reading