1. Do I have to own my home to be a foster parent?
No. Foster Parents can rent or own their home. They can reside in an apartment or house. You just need to have enough space in your home, including an extra bedroom.

2. How much will it cost me to become a foster parent?
The agency doesn't charge potential foster parents anything. You may, however, incur fees for the following: fingerprints ($57-75), CPR & First Aid Certification ($45-65), Driving Record ($5), and health screening ($60-$85) if you don't have health insurance. You may also incur costs for the following items if your home is not already equipped with them: i.e. fire extinguisher (s), smoke detectors, locked cabinet (s), and first aid kit.

3. Can I get reimbursed for the expenses that I incur to become a foster parent?
If you complete all your certification requirements within 90 days from the date that you attend orientation, you are eligible for an expense reimbursement (up to $100/household).  You would be reimbursed after you receive your first foster placement, provided you've kept receipts. 

4. How many foster children can I have in my home?
Therapeutic foster parents can have a total of 6 children in your home, including their birth or adoptive children.  This, of course, depends on if you have the space, help, and support to effectively care for them all. There can only be two children to a room. 

Intensive Treatment Foster Care is different.The Agency will make only one Intensive Treatment Foster Care placement per household, unless children are siblings. One additional ITFC placement that is stable, low risk, and long term may be considered. Total number of children will be limited to three for single foster parents and four for two parent foster homes (these numbers include the foster parent's biological children).

5. Can I be a foster parent if I work?
Yes. However, you are responsible for providing reliable childcare for the child if needed.

6. Do I have to be married to be a foster parent?
No. Foster parents come in all forms. You can parent as an individual or with a partner. Common examples are married couples, single people, and mother/daughter combinations.

7. Do both me and my significant other have to complete the certification process?
Yes, If they live in your home or will have frequent contact with the foster child.

8. How much income must I have to be a foster parent?
There is no specified amount of income that you must make. Basically, your income must cover your basic needs, and any other financial obligations you have. Foster care funds should not be viewed as income.

9. Can my child share a room with a foster child?
Yes as long as they are the same gender. If they are not the same gender, they must both be under the age of 5.

10. Do the family of the foster children have to know where I live?
No. We do not provide that information to the birth families of the children in your home, and we encourage foster parents not to disclose this information either. This confidentiality helps to ensure clear boundaries are observed.

11. Can the foster children go on trips with the foster family?
Yes. But, depending on the distance and the time length of the trip, we may have to get approval from the court.

12. Do you have children waiting to be placed?
We get referrals regularly from the placement agencies when a child needs to be placed. Due to placement agency policies, currently most referrals are for children 12 and older or children in the ITFC program.  When we receive referrals and don't have a home for a particular child, the child is placed with another agency.

13. How long does the process take to become a foster parent?
The length of the process is largely based on the individual and has a lot to do with how quickly you complete the requirements. In general, however, the process typically takes a minimum of 6 weeks and an average 4 months. Some people have stretched the process out over 2 years. It is really what works for the individual family that determines the time length most often. There are some factors that you don't have control over i.e. Fingerprint clearance process. 

14. How much financial compensation do foster parents receive?
Foster parents receive a monthly reimbursement payment based on the age of their foster child and the program through which the child is placed.  Therapeutic Foster Parents  are compensated based on the following schedule: 

Child's Age     *Monthly Compensation
  0-4                        $829
  5-8                        $882
  9-11                      $918
 12-14                     $952
 15-21                     $988
                        *Effective 9/1/12

Foster Parents with Whole Family certification receive an additional $200 a month for the teen parent, as well as $410 for the teen to spend on infant specific expenses. 

Compensation for children placed in the Intensive Treatment Foster Care( ITFC program) is $1200/month regardless of age.  

15. Is the monthly payment taxable?
No. It is considered a reimbursement for the care of the foster child; much like child support.

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