I am considering becoming a foster parent in the Fort Worth area.
Could someone tell me if there is financial help for forster parents to pay for items such as clothing, food, day care and education.
Also how long does it take to get approved?
Thanks a lot
There is a small stipend to assist in paying for the needs of the childDay Care is usually handled thru state licensed caregiversŅthey are paid directly by the state.
As for getting approved, it dependsyouŒll need to find out when they are having their next round of classesafter you get them done, youŒll need to get your homestudy doneand then once thatŒs done its pretty much done.
Every state has a Foster Parent Rate--the Childrens Serviecs office should be able to outline it for you.... There may also be a State website for Foster Families that will give you a great deal of information. The one I know of is here:
Typically when a Child Enters Foster Care there will be a ONE time clothes and essentials check for providing the need fast.
Some states do psy directly to a Day Care center---other states pay the Foster Family directly. It often depends on the reason for needing day care. Some children the caseworkers FEEL need day care--or pre school for the child to develop socail skills and wil pay--often they do not pay if it is so that you can work. This subject can be very different between children.
Education is NoT generally paid for as it is assumed the Public Schools are there for this reason. In fact additional educational needs can be difficult at times to have covered. Pre School children will be considered eligible for Head Start and other early interventions...School age children should be provided for at the public schools and should be given additional services should the Schools deem the child needs it. Private schools and homeschools are not provided for.... The state will say they are provided because of the Public schools.
Foster Care payments will never really cover the full cost of a childs actually living. Most states require that a foster family is able to prove that they are finacially stable and the foster care payments are not needed to support the family--It is not supposed to be suplimental income.
Generally, an interested family should contact the local office and find out when the next information or support meeting will be held. At that meeting the requirements of training and a time frame is usually given. Usually the training takes place over the course of several weeks. Many families start working on the Homestudy while they are still doing the training. How long it takes depends on the classes and when you can take fast you are able to get the homestudy started and long it takes for back ground checks...and if anything interesting or unusual comes up that might need more information or investigation. It also depends on the number of caseworkers in your county--their case loads and the urgency of need for foster families.
It does not happen quickly and many of the steps are designed to be slow in order to insure that all families who start really do understand the committment they are making... Puases in the process are geared to allow you the chance to really consider all the slow is better and often weeds out the very interested from the courious.... it needs to take some time.
Thank you of your help I really appreciate it.
Other then for the day care part those were the answears I was expecting.
I would presume that you do not have to be a stay at home parent to be a forster parent ....
I am familiar with the home study part of the process since I recently adopted a baby girl.
How do I meet foster parents in my area?
Welcome Ingi!
We just started fostering (well, foster-to-adopt) 3 months ago. We started with orientation meeting January 2003 and were licenced August 31, 2003. We chose to work with a private agency that works with CPS. This agency paid for our homestudy, CPR/1st aide class, and fire inspection. With other agencies or CPS, you have to pay for some of these things yourself. Of course, if your homestudy is current, you may get through faster.
We're in Houston and have 3 kids from the Fort Worth area (tarrent county). They were placed with us in October, so it really didn't take all that long once we had everything in place.
We are reimbursed for basic care at $20 a day, and moderate care $35 a day. We are a theraputic home. Basically, it all comes out of our pocket and the following month on the 15th, we get a check. Now, the county that our kids are from also reimburses us for activities that we have the kids in... such as scouts (registration and uniform), little league baseball / softball, and also a quarterly clothing allowance of either $100 or $125 (depends on the child's age). We have to submit receipts and it takes about a month to get that back.
Both my husband and I work. The only "condition" that either our agency put on us was that if we wanted a child younger than school age, it would have to be part of a sibling group (although our license states we can have ages 0 - 17). I know of a different agency that allowed one single working mom to have FIVE kids under 5 (not all related) and they were in day care and it was paid for by the agency or state. It really depends on who you are working with (we did NOT like CPS!!!).
I would suggest looking for agencies in your area as well as CPS and go check them out. Each will have an orientation night (usually monthly).
Hope that helps! Good luck! And if you need a cps worker in your area to look for some kids, let me know! :)
Wow, well thanks a lot for all the info, sounds very positive.
It looks that the better/easier way to go is via a private agency.
After reading all the posting in this forum it looks like going through CPS is not always a positive experience..
My husband and I adopted and I wish you good luck with yours ... it is just an awsome experience.
As I am educating (or at least trying :rolleyes:) to educate myself on foster care system I realize that a high percentage of foster parents are also future adoptive parents.
Since our goal is not to adopt but rather be a positive and supportive influence in a child's life, I wonder if we would not be better suited to provide "emergency care"?
Do foster parents have an input on the number of children they wish to care for and the level of care they feel comfortable providing?
I want to make sure I undertand this correctly depending on the care needed for the child you will be reimbursed either $20 or $35 a day, or is a accumulation of both>
Once again thank you so much for your help, some days it feels like a real maze navivating through this.
Thank God for this forum and people like you!!:)
ingi, it is the foster parents who have complete and utter say in what "type" of child or number of children they would accept. You could theoretically accept only children with blue eyes, for example, although that request would probably disgust the worker so much they wouldn't call you about any child. But you could say that if you wanted to. Age, gender, size, medical needs, emotional needs, behavior issues, grade in school, number of sibings, number and time of visits, number and time of doctors/counselors appointments, reason for removal from the birth home, reason for removal from most recent foster home - all those are routinely used by foster parents in their decision whether or not to take a particular child at a particular time. (They may call and ask you to take a child not in the range you've specified, but you can always say "no".)
Some areas/agencies have emergency care systems, others do not. And the length of time a child remains in "emergency care" really varies. But usually for people who want quicker turnover in their homes, and don't want to normally be asked if they are an adoptive resource for the child, emergency care is a fairly good option to explore. So is routine respite care - good respite providers who have completed licencing requirements are REALLY hard to find. Consider that, too.
Hope that helps!
You Guys are the best.
What you say makes so much sense.
When going through our daughter's adoption we went through a home study as well.
Do you think that I will have to go through another study or is there a small chance we might be able to "re-use" that one.
The level of care is determined by someone else (agency for CPS or a committee set-up through them or something like that). Example: we have 3 kids, the 2 boys came in at a moderate care -- the are on meds for various things: ADHD, ODD, PTSD. We are paid $35 for each boy, for each night they are with us. We have to show that we earn that money by the activities we do with them (such as scouts, playing games, taking them out to eat, and not at McDonalds {oh that one's a real joy!! :eek: }, and a lot of other things). We are prepared for any behaviors that we might encounter (trust me, with the tantrums, we EARN that money big time!!!).
Now, our little girl came to us at a basic care level. She is not on any meds, but does have some emotional baggage (not unexpected). We tried to get her re-evaluated, but her CPS worker really fought to keep her at basic (have no idea why). It boiled down that she had been evaluated a month before coming to us and will stay at basic. I don't really care about the money. She does the same activities as the boys most of the time, so no big deal. I worry more because she's going to need some extra help somewhere down the road and we'll have to keep documenting and being an advocate for her until they realize this little girl has some big issues to work through. So, we receive $20 a night for her care.
That's a total of $90 a day for their care. That sounds like a lot, and yet, I'm always wondering where in the world it all went! :confused: Of course, we'd have them doing these activities whether they were foster or bio children, but with all their doctor visits, ARD visits, and so on, just car gas alone has almost doubled for us.
From a CPS perspective... there is this little checksheet that nobody talks about that determines the level of care.... that is what determines the payment received. One thing to note... it is not much as many here have said... you don't do it for the money... and there are limits as to how many children you may foster at what level of care. If you are interested in doing therapeutic foster care some states require that you be a foster parent for one year before you apply to get into the additional training classes. Research your Department of Human Services website to check the guidelines.
Hope that helps
DiamondzR -- "One thing to note... it is not much as many here have said... you don't do it for the money... and there are limits as to how many children you may foster at what level of care."
I hope this was not directed at me. :eek: It is exactly the opposite with us. We knew going into this that we would probably just break even. I do not personally know of any foster parents that clear more than they spend. Hopefully, no one is going into major debt taking care of the children either.
On the other hand, our agency does advertise in the help wanted section of the newspaper for people looking to work from home.
Thanks for your help.
There are easier ways to make money that is for sure.
About a decade ago I cared for children in my home and I returned them to their parents at 5:00 :>) and the pay was better :>)
The money received should go to the children and cover their needs.
I believe that emergency care, respite care and craddle care sound like something I would like to do.
Craddle care is foster care for adoption agencies, foster parents care for children waiting to be adopted.
I don't know about that, been doing foster/treatment foster/adoption for 18yrs.
My Mercedes is parked in the garage ;)
Ya' gotta love what you do and look for other options for retirement!!!!!
Robin from Wisc.