Criteria for Becoming a Foster Parent

Written by ellen goodlett
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Criteria for Becoming a Foster Parent
Do you have room for a foster child? (young family image by JulianMay.co.uk from Fotolia.com)

Foster children are removed from their homes because it is deemed they are at risk in their birth families' home. Although each state has its own specific requirements, there are general guidelines and requirements that all potential foster parents nationwide need to fulfil. You need to review your state's specific guidelines to make sure you are a candidate for foster care in your state.

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Basic

All candidates need to be at least 21 to qualify for foster parenting. Foster parents can be either married or single, and you are allowed to have children of your own. The important qualification is that you can demonstrate that your family life is stable. You will need to fill out applications and go through training before you can become a registered foster parent.

Home

Your home needs to have sufficient space to accommodate the foster child. This includes room space and bed space. Your house also needs to meet general requirements such as fire safety and a clean sanitary environment.

Money

The important monetary qualification is that you are financially able to care for your own family without the income you will receive from caring for foster children. Foster parents need to want to take in children for other reasons than monentary gain. Financial assistance is provided in all states, but you need to prove that you can care for the child adequately without the assistance. Most states supply an allowance that covers such things as clothing, day care, and day camp for the foster child.

Background

You will need to under go a background check, as will every adult member of your household. You cannot have any history of drug or alcohol addictions. You must have a clean jail record with no history of criminal activity. You must not have any history of child molestation or child abuse. Every adult member of the household will need to be fingerprinted.

Emotional

The most important qualification of foster care is that you are emotionally and physically able to take care of a foster child. You must ask yourself if you can love a difficult child who has behavioural problems and comes from a broken family. You must be able to love the child and make her feel welcome into your home even though the situation is temporary. You must be able to let go when the time comes for the child to leave.

Process

Before you will be placed with a foster child you must undergo classes and training. You will work closely with the child's social worker to know the specific needs of the child you will be welcoming into your home. You will be working with the child's social worker to set up visiting hours with the foster child's birth parents and siblings. You must be able to take direction from social workers and be able to maintain a positive attitude towards the foster child's parents even though they are the source of many of the foster child's problems.

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