What is Foster Care?
At times, children ages birth through 21 years of age are not always able to continue to live with their birth families for many different reasons. If it is determined that children need to be removed from their birth family home, these children are matched and placed with a qualified, approved resource home with New Foundations, Inc. The resource parents are prepared to provide them with love, stability and guidance while their birth parents work towards achieving their goals so reunification can occur. Foster care is meant to be a temporary out of home placement so the child is able to eventually return home with their birth family. In the event they cannot return, NFI works with the child and resource family to achieve permanency through other measures, such as Permanent Legal Custodianship (PLC) or Adoption.
How Long Are Children in Foster Care?
Every case is different. Some children are in foster care only a few months and some may end up being adopted. The child’s length of stay all depends on the circumstances of their placement and the cooperation of the biological family.
What Must I Provide for a Foster Child?
Resource parents must be able to provide foster children with the basic living needs, such as food, clothing, shelter and supervision. They are also asked to provide love, understanding and compassion, with a focus on making sure children feel safe, stable and supported in their living environment. There are several state regulations concerning resource parents, which will be reviewed in detail at orientation and subsequent training sessions.
Will I Receive Support When Working With a Foster Child?
Yes. A Case Manager and/or a Resource Parent Support Worker (RPSW) will be assigned to you upon the placement of a child. This Case Manager/RPSW will conduct a minimum of once a month home visits and maintain regular contact with you and the child. The agency has 24 hour, 7 days a week emergency on-call service to provide support after regular business hours and on weekends.
What if a child comes to me with nothing?
In most cases, children are placed with minimal clothing, toiletries, or other belongings. Please contact your Case Manager/RPSW upon placement if the child comes with minimal to no belongings, and they will inform and work with the County or CUA worker to complete the documentation needed to secure an emergency clothing allowance for the child.
Do I have to own a home?
No. You may rent a home or apartment. As long as the child(ren) have enough space and are not sharing a bedroom with an adult, it is alright to rent your property.
Do I have to be married?
No. Singles are welcome also.
Is it alright if I have pets?
Yes. We would like to meet your pets. We also need a copy of their up-to-date rabies vaccinations if you have dogs and/or cats.
Can I choose what child characteristics I would like?
Yes. We will ask you what age-range, sex, race and religion you would like to work with.
Do the children each need their own bedroom?
No. Children can share rooms if there is adequate space. Bunk-beds are fine. Children under 5 years of age can share a bedroom with a child of the opposite sex. Each child must have his or her own bed.
Can I reach the agency after hours for emergencies?
Yes. NFI provides 24 hour, seven days a week emergency on-call service to provide support after regular business hours and on weekends. To access the answering service, simply call your program office main number and follow the prompts, which will connect you to the answering service. They will take your information and the nature of your problem, and that information will go to our on call staff who will follow up with you via phone call about the emergency.
What if the foster child needs counseling services?
The child’s CUA Case Manager may refer a child to be evaluated for treatment to determine whether therapy services are appropriate. If it is determined that services should be provided, the CUA case manager will contact the referred agency to coordinate therapeutic services for the child and family.
Do foster children have severe behavior problems?
In some cases, due to the trauma the children have experienced and the emotional toll that comes with it, they may exhibit behaviors that are unfamiliar and daunting. If a child’s behavior has escalated significantly, the child may be assessed as needing specialized behavioral health level services and placed in a home that can provide Therapeutic Foster Care or Specialized Behavioral Care level support. If you notice a child placed with you behaviors significantly escalating, please communicate this with your Case Manager/RPSW as soon as possible. To stabilize the child in the resource home, NFI will provide support from the agency via specialized training and communication with the CUA case manager, as well as training on how to manage these behaviors effectively.