Have Questions About Foster Care?
Our Recruiter/Trainers field hundreds of calls about foster care every month. This page provides answers to frequently asked questions – please contact us if you have a question that is not listed here.
Can renters be foster parents?
Yes, renters can be foster parents in most states! Foster parents can reside in single family homes, town homes, or apartments. You need to have adequate space for an additional child, but it doesn’t have to be expansive. You should review your lease agreement and verify with your leasing agent that foster parenting is permitted in the rental.
How old do you have to be to foster parent?
Most states require foster parents to be 21 or older. If you will be working with children with special needs, such as medically fragile, or needing therapy services, the age requirement may be higher.
How much do foster parents get paid?
Foster parents do not get paid. However, children in foster care are provided with “child support” payments form the state to cover their expenses. Because this payment is a reimbursement, it is not considered income so it is not taxed. The amount varies from state to state and sometimes also varies depending on the special needs of the child. A child that is medically fragile or receiving therapy services, may receive more child support than a child that does not utilize those additional services.
Can retired people foster parent?
Yes, retired people can be awesome foster parents! Retirees often make amazing foster parents because they can adjust their schedule to meet the needs of the child in care. They often have wisdom, experience, and patience to work with children. Retired people can be tremendous role models and mentors for kids and can help them to develop their social network to other professional people.
Can foster parents be single?
Yes, foster parents can be single or married. Most states/agencies allow heterosexual or homosexual domestic partners to foster parent, also. Single people can be outstanding foster parents. They can role model independence and resilience. They can often offer attention and devotion to a child.
Can I foster parent if I am on disability?
A person on disability may become a foster parent if the disability does not interfere with the ability to provide care for the child. This will need to be confirmed by your physician and be in accordance with your state regulations.
Who pays for health care for foster children?
Foster parents are NOT responsible for the health care costs of children in foster care. Children in foster care most frequently are covered under the state’s Medicaid program. If children are covered under the health insurance of their parents, then the parents are responsible for the expenses.
Why are so many kids in foster care?
Children are taken into foster care when it is no longer safe for them to remain with their parents. Unfortunately, the cycle of poverty, hopelessness, and addiction has required more children to be removed and placed into care. The system has not been able to keep up with the pace of intakes. This has led to a bloated traffic jam in the courts and foster care rosters causing delays in returning children to parents or delays in seeking alternative permanency placements. In short, as more children come into care, the overloaded system becomes less efficient.
Why do foster parents have to give the kids back?
What if doctors, nurses, teachers, day care providers, and coaches were afraid they would get too attached so there were no hospitals, schools, day care centers, or sports teams? Great doctors, nurses, teachers, day care providers and coaches care deeply about the people they serve, and then have to let them move on, but don’t stop caring. Many foster parents become so connected with the child and the biological family that they are able to stay in contact and offer support even after the children are reunited.
Are teenagers in foster care dangerous?
Many teens in foster care are ready, willing, and able to live with foster families. They need mentoring and independent living skills, such as driving, working, cleaning, cooking, financial management, and network building. Because these teens have experienced trauma, they need caring adults with appropriate expectations and supportive teaching strategies. If teens are not ready to be placed in a foster family environment, they may live in residential facilities with staff.
Will we get to hear about what the children are like and their behaviors before we get the children?
Yes, we will call you and read the referral to you before you say "yes" or "no."
We work full time so will we be able to train on the weekends?
Yes! Our Recruiter/Trainers can work with you and your schedule.
Do you get referrals for younger children?
Yes. Typically they are in sibling groups as younger children don't often have eyes on them to know they need help.
Can I help in other ways other than fostering?
Yes! You could become a respite provider. You can donate clothes, money, toys, hygiene products, and gift cards. You can also sponsor a child for Christmas.
What trainings do I have to do to become a foster parent through New Beginnings?
First, we will schedule an orientation with you, then we will schedule days for training. There are 5 sections for the state training called Building Foundations. There are online modules that you will complete on your own and then there are a few New Beginnings Trainings.
What is the average age of child that you have placed?
Teenagers often needs homes more frequently than younger children. However, we also know there is a need to have homes that will accept school age children or sibling groups.
Do you provide support opportunities through continuing education or in-person support groups? Is childcare provided during these times?
Yes, we offer ongoing training monthly with different topics each month. Childcare may be provided upon request depending on the ability to provide it in a safe and secure manner.
Do you provide special opportunities for foster children such as summer camp, outings/activities, meet-ups?
Yes. We partner with Camp Joy which children can go to on weekends and in the summer time for free. We also have an annual Summer party, Christmas Party, and possible other events throughout the year depending on the office.
Will I need to drive the children to visitation with their family?
If you are able to, yes, but you can get reimbursed for the travel with the children in the car to and from placement.