What is the Foster Care Program: A Foster Parent is a special and deeply caring person who has made a decision to provide care to a child or adolescent whose parent(s) are unwilling or unable to care for them on a temporary basis. Foster Parents attend an extensive training by Our Kids and are required to meet standards that have been outlined by the Florida Department of Children and Families.
How to Become a Foster Parent: Being a Foster Parent is perhaps the most difficult and most rewarding of all volunteer positions. It involves hard work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Not only does it involve parenting children who have suffered trauma and loss, it requires working with a team of professionals that are in charge of meeting of all the children’s needs, such as, Family Resource Center, schools, medical facilities, and all necessary resources for the child (including the birth family).
Individuals interested in becoming a Foster Parent must be 21 years or older; be financially self-supporting; and also include fingerprinting for Federal, State and Local background and abuse records checks; as well as the ability to work with many community partners . The licensing process requires a minimum of 21 hours of Training, a Health and Safety Inspection of your home and a Home Study Assessment of your family. The background screening, training classes and process to become licensed are all free of charge. There are also certain standards that have been outlined by the Department of Children and Families as being imperative for licensure of a foster home.
Below are a few examples:
Length of Marriage
Swimming Pool, Hot Tubs/Spas
These topics are discussed individually in the 30 hour PRIDE – Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education – training course. Prior to completing the course each potential Foster Parent needs to understand these as it is a pre-requisite to becoming licensed.
What can a Foster Parent do for Our Children: The Foster Parent’s consistency, dependability, and honesty will have the most positive influence on the foster child’s adjustment to their new living environment. Foster homes should provide our child(ren) with a loving and accepting home without trying to replace their birth parent(s); provide a sense of self worth and self-esteem through a functional family life; give them daily care, help and guidance; and provide them with positive values and experiences that they will take with them wherever they go.
Financial Support for Foster Parent(s): Foster Parents are entitled to the following benefits:
- Medicaid will pay for all medical expenses relating to the child.
- Family Resource Center provides monetary compensation to foster families in form of a board payment. The Board Rate is $18.00 per day depending on the level of care the child needs.
- In addition to the Board Rate, you will receive a separate check for the child(ren)’s allowance. The Allowance is $40.00 per month per child ages 14 through 18 years old.
- You will also receive a once-a-year clothing allowance for any child that has been in Foster Care for six months of more. The Clothing Allowance is $200 a year.
For more information, please call 305-455-6063 (Ileana Albrecht) at Our Kids.