Foster Care Indiana

So, what is it like to be a foster parent?

Heather Mitchell February 13, 2019
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“You might be temporary in their lives. They might be temporary in yours. But there is nothing temporary about the love or the lesson.”

This quote comes from author Tonia Christle. It is a beautiful description and the true meaning of fostering children. So, what is it like to be a foster parent? Joan Clifton Costner wrote a poem describing her life and views of being a foster mom. This poem is titled “Loving One of These.” In her poem, she writes:

Though she longed for her own children,

God supplied a steady flow;

And her life was filled with youngsters,

As the years would come and go.

Gently taught she of the Savior,

Little hearts received with joy!

Steadily, she wisely counseled

With a young and wayward boy.

Little ones, with no attention,

Fell into the lady’s plans

And she loved and guided gently,

Trusting God would understand.

Children need a loving Mother

Who has time to listen well;

Who can watch their face intently,

As their stories they do tell.

Though her loving arms were holding

Children other than her own,

Still, the mother love was given;

Still, the seeds of love were sown.

Not to one was she blood mother;

But I wonder how God sees.

Does birthing make a mother,

Or is it loving one of these?

What an awesome depiction of one woman making a difference in children’s lives through the love of fostering! It seems like these children definitely have impacted her life as well (in a great way!). If you are considering becoming a foster parent, take a look at this article. Caroline Bailey provides us with seven reasons why you should follow through with this awesome decision and become a foster parent.

Since laws and requirements regarding foster care vary with each state, we are going to specifically focus our attention on foster care in Indiana! There are currently more than 9,000 children in foster care in the state of Indiana, and many of those children are actually hoping to be adopted. That overwhelming number is a good reason to consider becoming a foster parent in the state of Indiana. If you are wondering how so many children enter the foster care system, read this article. This article provides eight main reasons why kids enter the foster care system, and will hopefully give you some clarity regarding why these numbers are so high. Some of these reasons include parental abuse, neglect, incarceration, death, and drug abuse. So, you can only imagine how much stability, love, and guidance these children need while in the foster care system and what a difference you can make in these children’s lives by fostering.

Foster care Indiana has great support for foster parents. If you are looking for specific information regarding anything involving foster care in Indiana, you may visit this site which provides many different resources. The Indiana Department of Children Services also provides loads of information regarding foster care in Indiana. Here, you will find answers to frequently asked questions. You will find detailed information on how to become foster parents, contacts, helplines, caregiver and child resources, policies, and forms.

According to the Indiana Department of Child Services, there are requirements to becoming a foster parent. These specific requirements for foster care Indiana are as follows:

- Must be at least 21 years of age

- You must pass a criminal history and background check that includes a fingerprint-based national history

- Demonstrate financial stability

- Own or rent your own home that meets physical safety standards

- Medical statements from a physician for all household members

- Successful completion of preservice training requirements

- Successful completion of first aid, CPR, and Universal Precautions training

- Positive personal reference statements

- Foster parents do not need to be married. They may be single or cohabitating. A live-in relationship with a significant other or same-sex partner should be established for at least one year to demonstrate stability.

- Home visits from the Regional Licensing Specialist

- Must complete all required forms within the licensing packet

Maybe you are just beginning to look into fostering in Indiana, are in the process of training to become a foster parent, or are currently fostering. No matter where you are at in your fostering journey, you will benefit from support. Joining a foster care community of fellow fostering parents will help you! At Adoption.com, there are many different articles that may help you and keep you informed throughout different processes. For example, see these articles below in which I hope I can provide more insight and understanding.

1. “10 Things You Should Have Learned in Foster Care Training (but Didn’t).” Despite receiving excellent preservice training, there were a few important things that I had to learn the hard way.

2. “Newbie Foster Care Questions: How Often Do Kids Have Visits with Their Birth Families?” The short answer: It varies.

3. “Choosing a Foster Care Provider: County Agencies vs. Private Agencies.” Here are some questions to get you started on deciding which is right for you.

4. “How Much Do Foster Parents Get Paid?” As it turns out, foster parents make a whole lot.

In 2018, a bill benefiting all foster care in Indiana was authorized by State Senator, Jon Ford. The purpose of this bill is to support foster parents that dedicate their lives giving foster children the support, structure, and safety that they desperately need. This Foster Parent Bill of Rights was designed to provide the support that current and prospective foster parents need to continue to provide these amazing services to our children in Indiana. The Indiana Department of Child Services Foster Parent Bill of Rights can be found here. Below I have included these rights. The state of Indiana seems to be working hard to create a better environment for foster families. This is a great time for foster care in Indiana!

Article I – Communication

Foster parents have the right to:

- Be informed of anything regarding the child that will impact the foster family home or family life during the care of the foster child.

- Have information concerning the foster family kept confidential, except when release is required by law.

- Receive accurate and best contact information of appropriate DCS staff.

- Receive feedback on their role as a foster caregiver.

- Be made aware of transition plans in a timely manner.

- Receive timely notification of meetings and court hearings as prescribed by policy and law, including any changes made to those proceedings.

- Have all calls and/or emails returned by the family case manager within a timely manner.

Article II – Safety and Privacy

Foster parents have the right to:

- Expect confidentiality regarding issues that arise in their foster family home (outside those disclosable as public records).

- Receive pertinent information about the child as it affects the safety of the foster family.

Article III – Support

Foster parents have the right to:

- Receive assistance dealing with family loss and separation when a child leaves their home.

- Receive a timely per diem to cover the reasonable costs of caring for a foster child.

- Determine if the foster child is appropriate for their home.

- Receive help and guidance.

- Undergo training to enhance their skills and abilities as caregivers.

Article IV – Collaboration

Foster parents have the right to:

- Offer input for their foster child’s permanency plan.

- Foster children without fear of discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, or veteran status.

- Voice their concerns and opinions without fear of retaliation.

- Advocate for their foster child.

- Be considered for placement or adoption when a previous foster child reenters care.

Article V – Respect

Foster parents have the right to:

- Receive services that assist in the care of the child in their home through an open and timely response from agency personnel.

- Be included as a valued member of the team.

- Have their daily schedules respected.

- Be treated with consideration, trust, and respect.

In conclusion, Stella Quarrels wrote a poem titled, “Children Know.” I hope as you read this poem, your heart ignites with passion and desire for fostering. I wish you the best on your journey into foster care; it is one of this nation’s most important jobs!

You can look in their eyes, and see by the pain,

They’ve sailed some rough seas, and suffered in vain;
Their spirits are broken, their faith totally shattered,
And given up hope, their little lives mattered!

They’ve been on the front-lines, like soldiers of war,
Fought endless battles, with no chance to score;
There were no medals of honor, pinned on their chests,
And no way to escape, life’s toughest of tests!

They’ve carried their burdens, without speaking to others,
For the ‘weight,’ is their own, fathers and mothers;
They’ve hungered far more, than there ever was cause,
Yet accepted their fate, with little more than a pause!

So remember, when one of these ‘soldiers,’ are given to you,
They’ll fight against everything that you try to do;
But be persistent, don’t quit, just stick to your plan,
For the child in the “soldier,” will seek your gentle hand!

Slowly their minds, and their spirits will mend,
When they are secure, that you’re their friend;
And that is the greatest gift, you could ever bestow.
For when you give from the heart, all children know!

Visit Adoption.com’s photolisting page for children who are ready and waiting to find their forever families. For adoptive parents, please visit our Parent Profiles page where you can create an incredible adoption profile and connect directly with potential birth parents.

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Heather Mitchell

Heather courageously became a birth mother in 2014. She is inspired to personally share how open adoption has incredibly impacted her life. She shatters the common misconceptions about birth mothers, and desires to provide a beautiful and unique point of view. Heather enjoys her grind as an administrative specialist for a millwork company in Wisconsin. While dedicated to her profession, Heather believes her most important job in life is motherhood. Her three children keep her busy, yet extremely overjoyed and purposeful. Her free time is spent reading, writing, or admiring the view of Lake Michigan, which can be seen from her front porch.


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