HELP! I have a fellow foster/adoptive friend in Texas. She was going back through licensing after being closed for a few years & feels like she was disqualified because they had received food stamps recently. Basically her husband lost his job & between jobs, they applied & received them. Once he got a new job, they started to go back through licensing, but didn't disclose they received them to their agency. Is it even possible the agency could know they got food stamps if she didn't tell them at all, I told her I didn't think they even had access to that type of information?
Yes, they can find out, but if he has not been at his job at least a year, then that might have been a bigger factor. Not disclosing things is a risk though, so if they chose to try with a different agency, then I would be up front about it. The reason for losing the other job might be an issue too, so I would not jump to having received food stamps as the reason for not approving them (remember many of us get WIC for kids in foster care, so our names are in that system too, but it does not affect us becoming foster parents after we let our license go). It still stinks though when you just want to help.
He lost his last job when the company closed, so it wasn't anything he did, and he had been there for a very long time. She said the worker kinda insinuated they knew they received assistance. She didn't hide it or fail to disclose it because it isn't asked. I just didn't think that agencies had access to private health & human services records & she was being paranoid!
This sounds like an issue that would come up earlier in the process. But as long as they can show they will maintain a quality of life it should be a disqualified. I was in grad school and only my wife worked and we were approved in CA.
In general, you cannot adopt if you are on public assistance. You don't need to be well off; you just need to be able to earn enough money, on your own, to provide a child with basic food, clothing, shelter, etc. In most cases, if a family has received public assistance, but no longer does, an agency will want to see a certain period of stable income from earnings, such as a year or two, in order for a family to be approved.
Also, in general, if you fail to disclose certain things that are considered material, you will be disapproved for adoption. My understanding is that there are certain basic things that are asked before a homestudy is even begun, and one of them is, "Are you, or have you been, on any form of public assistance?" If you answered no, and the agency subsequently found out that you did receive such assistance, you will be summarily denied. If you failed to disclose this fact, the agency's thinking goes, WHAT ELSE have you failed to disclose?
I am really sorry that you were denied. However, agency and state rules exist to protect the children, first and foremost. If you had a formally denied homestudy, then you may not be able to apply again, ever. However, if you were disapproved before the formal homestudy was begun, you may be able to reapply after a certain period of gainful employment. Talk to your agency/state to find out if you will be able to reapply.
In FL it's mostly like what others have said here.
The question that we were asked over and over again was "Do you think you can provide totally, for a child or children in your care for 6 to 8 weeks until the reimbursement checks start to come in?"
This was generally broken down into a couple of smaller questions when we got later into the process.
1. Are you on any kind of assistance? If you are, how are you going to handle the extra load?
2. Are you stable? At the end of the month, after all your "bills" do you have $100 left over?
3. How will you handle the cost of child care, if you had to pay it, all on your own?
They never looked at us to make a certain amount of money. They just wanted to know that we could handle "stuff". As long as we could answer questions then you would be approved on just about any income. What they didn't want to do was add foster children to an environment that was barely hanging on.