Frequently Asked Questions About Foster Care

What is a Foster Parent?
What Kind of Children Need Foster Care?
How Do These Children Come Under The Agency's Care?
How Long Does a Child Stay in a Foster Home?
What Type of Families Are Needed?
How Do I Become a Foster Parent?
Pre-Service Training
What Is A Home Study?
Is There Financial Assistance?
FOR MORE INFORMATION

What is a Foster Parent?

Foster parents are people who provide a caring, temporary home for children unable to live with their birth families. Foster parents can be married or single; renters or homeowners; with or without children of their own; and may work outside the home.


What Kind of Children Need Foster Care?

A foster child is one whose own parents are physically or emotionally unable to provide for their needs. The child may have been abused, neglected or abandoned. He or she often has experienced physical, emotional or social deprivation in the early years. Children needing foster care come from all races and range in age from birth to 18.

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How Do These Children Come Under The Agency's Care?

Allen County Juvenile Court places children in the custody of the agency. In other cases the family may voluntarily seek help from Children Services and ask that foster care be provided for their children until a family crisis is over. Children may be referred by schools, hospitals, churches, social agencies or others. The rules affecting children entering foster care are set up and monitored by the state, and federal governments.

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How Long Does a Child Stay in a Foster Home?

Placement of foster children can vary from a few months to years. During a child's stay in foster care the caseworker assists the child's family to teach them the skills necessary to care for their child. Our hope is to return the child to their family as soon as we safely can.

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What Type of Families Are Needed?

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How Do I Become a Foster Parent?

The Ohio Department of Human Services requires that all foster parents be licensed. You need to be over the age of 21, may be married, single, or a co-parent. The licensing process includes an interview with a social worker (home study), a medical report, references, and a check of the physical condition of your home, along with a fire inspection.

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Pre-Service Training

Foster parent training is required of all applicants to expand your knowledge of the foster parenting role and to strengthen your ability to care for foster children.

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What Is A Home Study?

A home study consists of interviews with both husband and wife, or any person who will be providing care for a child (such as in the situations of co-parents). The social worker will want to become better acquainted with your family and to give you the opportunity to learn more about the agency. The social worker will ask you to share background information which will help the worker get acquainted with your family. Social workers are looking for families who can cope with the stress and meet one another's needs relatively well. We do not expect to meet perfect families. The social worker will, of course, want to see your home and to meet your children. It does not matter whether you live in a house or an apartment. It is only necessary that you have a suitable dwelling with space to accommodate additional children, and that there are no hazards to the health or safety of a foster child.

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Is There Financial Assistance?

Families are not paid for caring for foster children, however, the agency provides a monthly board check for food, clothing and incidentals. The amount varies with the age and special needs of the child, as well as the level of care provided to the child, and is considered reimbursement for necessary expenses. In addition to the board rate, Allen County Children Services assumes the cost of needed medical and dental care. There also is some child care reimbursement available for day care for working foster parents.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION

Call Allen County Children Services (419) 227-8590 and ask to speak to the Foster Care specialist. This person will be happy to answer any questions you have and will send you additional information, or invite you to the next orientation meeting for prospective Foster Parents.

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