What Does it Take to Become a Foster Parent?

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There’s a lot of talk out there about the laborious process of getting certified as a foster parent. While it’s not always easy, it is a bit simpler than you would think. The key is to take it one step at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Here are 5 major steps on the journey to becoming a foster parent:

Commitment
You’ve been interested in the idea of becoming a foster parent and are ready to take the next step. What you need now is commitment. The process can be fast or can feel like it’s dragging on for ages. It largely depends on the workload of who you will be working with and the training schedule available to you. Before you decide to commit, attend a Project 1.27 Info Night. You will learn what the commitment looks like and receive answers to your questions.

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Training & Application
Once you have committed to the process it’s time to start your training. At Project 1.27 training is broken into three classes, FACT Training, PCORE Training and Support Team Training. After you sign your commitment form, your case manager will help you get set up for training. One unique aspect of Project 1.27’s approach is Support Team Training. Having a committed support team ensures you won’t be in this alone and will have others to help you through your parenting journey. After your training is complete, Project 1.27 will help you complete your application and, then select a county or agency for certification.

Home Study
This part of the process is where a lot of potential foster parents get worried and stressed. Your county or agency will complete a few stages of a home study to ensure a safe environment for kids and a good match with children who will be placed in your home. There are typically 2-3 individual and family interviews and an actual home inspection. All this information is compiled and then submitted to your agency or county for review. No one is expecting you to be perfect, have the perfect marriage or the perfect house. The key is to be honest and not hide your baggage. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to better understand this part of the process.

Certification
The moment you’re approved as a certified foster parent is one you won’t soon forget. After all the paperwork, training and interviews you’ll be relieved to hear the word “certified.”  It’s worth the wait so don’t give up hope! You’re needed for this important work. In the waiting, turn to God and let Him be the source of your patience. Even if you’re only waiting a few weeks, it may feel like an eternity.

Transition
Congrats on becoming a certified foster parent! And possibly more waiting. You can receive a call for placement the day you are certified or it may be months later. There are many of factors at play, so don’t feel like you’ve done anything wrong. Depending on the situation there may be transition visits of a few hours or an entire weekend to see if it’s a good fit. However, in many cases, the placement is an emergency situation and there is no time for transition visits.

Remember, this is just an overview and there are many smaller steps along the way. Your case manager will help guide you through the process and answer questions. Sign up for our next Info Night to get started!

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