Foster Care Placement

Will I meet the child before placement?

You will not always meet the child before placement. Usually, it will be a Child Protective Investigator who has removed the child from his/her parent’s custody and needs to find an immediate placement for the child.

 

If a child has been in a temporary emergency placement, or has been in a different foster home, there is an opportunity to meet the child before they are placed in your home.

Can I foster a child of another race?

Yes you can Foster a child of another race. The children that come in to our care are all ages, races, and genders, from newborns to teenagers, and to teenagers with their own babies.

Will I get to choose the age or sex of the child?

You can request the age and sex you would like to foster; however, the needs we have may sometimes be outside the scope of your specific wants.

What about discipline?

Spanking or any other type of corporal/physical discipline is NOT ALLOWED with foster children under any circumstances. Training in the use of alternative, appropriate methods of discipline, such as Positive Parenting, will be provided by your licensing agency and Our Kids.

Once I am licensed, how long does it take for a placement?

It can be as early as a few days, depending on the needs of the child that is coming into care. It may depend on where the child goes to school or services that the child may need. Sometimes it may take longer, but rest assured that the need is there and that you will be called upon to help a child or group of children.

What about Birth Parents?

As long as the child is safe and cared for, the best place for that child is with his or her own family. Child welfare laws and services are geared to help keep families together and to keep children with their parents. Children remain out of their parents’ care only when, in the opinion of the court; the children are not safe in their own homes. Therefore, all services offered to a parent or family is designed to ensure that the child can be safely returned to their home. If the child is temporarily removed from the birth family’s care, it is important to understand what is expected from them, and that they fulfill all of their responsibilities, as based on the case plan they develop with their Full Case Manager.

Do I have to meet with the Birth Parents?

Depending on the case, a degree of interaction with the parents is necessary to establish what is in the best interest for the child. You will be asked to co-parent with the birth family, especially when reunification is the goal for the child and family. Just know you must communicate effectively about your comfort zone and be assured that safety of the child and your family will be maintained.

Why should I meet or work with the Birth Parents?

Child Welfare Professionals across the country and here in Florida realize that children in foster care do better when parents and Foster Parents develop a partnership focused on the well-being of the child. When children see parents and Foster Parents working together, it can reduce children’s acting -out behavior. Maybe they are acting out because they are trying to get sent home, or maybe they are showing that they miss their parent(s). Other times, children feel divided loyalty, and they believe that if they do well in the foster home, it will hurt their parent. When they see their parent and Foster Parent together, they understand, “I don’t have to feel this way.”

What is Co-Parenting?

Co-Parenting is a strategy where Foster Parents work in partnership with the child’s Birth Parents and the Full Case Manager toward the goal of reunification.
This team approach to parenting allows both families to bring their strengths to focus on the well-being of the child and allows the child to focus on growing, learning, playing and developing to his/her potential during a difficult time.

What are some of the benefits with working or co-parenting with the Birth Family?

Puts the minds of the Birth Parents at ease to be able to communicate with the people who are caring for their children.
Gives the Birth Parents access to ask personal questions of the Foster Parent about the children’s mental and physical health, as well as school, day care and everyday happenings.

  • Encourages the Birth Parents that the Foster Parents are working with them to be reunified with their children.
    Creates a stepping stone to support the Birth Parents by continued communication with their children in a more natural environment, whether it be telephone calls, accompanying the Foster Parent to doctor visits, school events and/or meetings.
  • Asks Birth Parents to be more responsible for the care of their children and puts them together in one forum with the other people who help care for their children.
  • Places willing Foster Parents and other caregivers in the position of being able to model parenting behaviors for the biological parents.
  • Can remove the anxiety that occurs when children feel torn between different parent figures.
    Asks age appropriate children to also be part of the team.
  • Clarifies roles and expectations at the outset of the placement, leading to more stability and less frustration by all parties.
  • Most importantly, co-parenting forms a team of the parents, the Foster Parents, the full case managers, and anyone else who is involved in caring for the child.
Do Foster Parents ever adopt?

Yes. Many Foster Parents grow close to the children in their care. Foster Parents can and do adopt children that come into their lives when it is not possible for the child to return home or to be placed with a relative.

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