Frequently Asked Questions about Foster Care
Q: How do I become a foster parent?
A: The process of becoming a foster parent requires between two to four visits to your home and completion of state-mandated training. The licensing worker assigned to you will gather necessary paperwork, interview all household members, and help prepare you for the safety inspection of your home. All household members must pass criminal and Department of Child Safety (DCS) background checks. Devereux’s training and screening process encompasses a mutual selection platform so that a fully informed decision can be made about whether becoming a foster parent is right for you and your family.
Q: What kind of specialized training does Devereux provide?
A: A 30-hour training is provided to all foster parents. Additionally, your spouse or domestic partner will be required to attend training, as applicable. CPR, First Aid, or other training may be required for licensing, and additional training is provided year-round to foster parents interested in further education. Visit our training schedules for the Phoenix or Tucson areas.
Q: Are there any fees to become a licensed foster parent or to adopt a foster child?
A: Devereux does not charge foster parents for training or licensing. Additionally, fees to adopt a foster child may be eligible for reimbursement.
Q: How long does it take to become a licensed foster parent?
A: On average, it will take approximately four to six months from the time you are enrolled in class until you become licensed. The quicker you complete all the requirements (fingerprint clearance card, CPR/First Aid training, etc.) as well as necessary paperwork, the sooner you will progress through the licensing process.
Q: Where will my foster child come from?
A: In most circumstances, children are placed in a foster home within hours of being identified by the Department of Child Safety (DCS) to be removed from their current home. Abuse, neglect, and parental illness are common reasons why children may need foster placement. Sometimes a child may come from another foster home, a group home or a residential facility.
Q: Will I get to meet the child before he or she is placed in my home?
A: In most circumstances, children are placed immediately after entering into foster care. In some situations, you may be able to visit with the child before accepting them into your home.
Q: How long will a foster child stay with me?
A: This varies depending on the child’s circumstances. Most children will return home to their families after a few months or a year. Others may become eligible for adoption or remain in foster care until they reach the age of 18. Children are eligible to continue in foster care past their 18th birthday.
Q: Will a foster child need their own room?
A: Most foster children may share a room with your child of the same gender. They will need space for personal belongings and be provided their own bed.
Q: Do I have to take any child you place with me?
A: No. Prior to becoming licensed, you and your Devereux licensing worker will decide what type of child(ren) would be a good match for your family. When we call you with a potential match, we will provide you the necessary information about the child(ren) for you to make an informed decision.
Q: Do you offer financial compensation?
A: Yes. You will be provided financial compensation to cover the costs of caring for a foster child. Children with higher needs are eligible for higher reimbursement rates. This compensation is provided to cover expenses such as room and board, mileage, clothing, recreation, and allowance. Children in foster care have full medical coverage. Additionally, foster children may be eligible for other resources such as free school lunch, clothing, or daycare expenses for working foster parents.
Q: Where and when do foster children visit with their family of origin?
A: The courts and Department of Child Safety (DCS) will determine how often visitations occur. When the child’s plan is reunification with family, visits are crucial in maintaining the child’s sense of belonging and bond with the parents. You will likely be asked to participate in meetings or discussions with the biological family, when appropriate. You may also be asked to transport the child to visits, which are usually held in a supervised office setting.
Q: Where is the greatest need?
A: The need for foster parents is prevalent for families taking in children of all ages and situations. However, the greatest need is for families willing to accept teenagers and sibling groups.
Q: What kind of supports will I be provided as a foster parent?
A: Devereux will provide frequent visits to your home by a specialist assigned to your family, a 24-hour emergency contact number, and 10 days of respite per year. Your specialist will be able to provide you with resources, training, and other supports as needed.
Q: Do foster children become available for adoption?
A: Sometimes a foster child may not be able to reunify with their families for various reasons. In these circumstances, the foster parent is a primary consideration when the child becomes adoptable.
Q: What if I decide being a full-time foster parent isn’t for me right now?
A: There are many opportunities to help foster children without becoming a full-time foster parent. You may be able to provide short-term respite to foster families, be a champion for a foster child, donate, or volunteer with Devereux's Foster Care programs. Visit our Get Involved page for ways to support foster children.
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