Why are children placed in foster homes?

A: Children are placed in foster homes because they have been removed from their own families due to abuse, neglect, or other family problems that may endanger them. Their ages range from infancy through 18 years old, although, developmentally disabled foster children may be as old as 21. There are foster children that belong to every ethnicity and race. Some children are placed alone, while others are part of a group of brothers and sisters who need to be placed together. Typically, children in foster care have special medical, physical or emotional needs.

 

Can I choose the type of child I would like to foster?

During the home study process, BHS staff will talk with the family about their strengths and what children they believe would fit into their home. This includes a child’s age, gender, emotional and behavioral needs

How are children matched with foster families?

A: There are many different factors taken into consideration when matching a child(ren) with a foster family. Factors considered may include the capacity limitations of the foster family’s home, other children living in the home, if the child has siblings, the ability of the foster parent(s) to meet the child’s specific needs, whether or not the child has been previously placed in foster care and any special needs the child may have.

What type of relationship will I have with the child(ren)’s parents?

A: If possible, we encourage foster parents to meet and work as a team with the child(ren)’s birth parent(s). Often times, foster parents and birth parents have unrealistic pictures of each other in their minds. These misperceptions can have a lasting, negative effect on the child. Children often feel better about themselves if they know their birth parent(s) and foster parent(s) are talking to one another and working together to help them return home. Ways to maintain a working relationship and engage the child(ren)’s parent(s) include:

  • · Praise and recognize decisions and activities related to positive parenting.

  • · Make scrapbooks or photo albums containing mementos for the child.

  • · Construct a family tree or a Life Book with the child.

  • · Send parents a birthday or holiday card.

  • · Discuss the child’s school activities/functions/conferences, social activities, relationships, behavior, health, social development, holiday plans, etc.

 

What qualities should I posses to become a foster parent?

Generally, our most successful foster parents are open-minded, dependable, patient, and willing, to learn new parenting styles for children with different needs. Having a flexible

schedule, being tolerant of change, and demonstrating the ability to follow our guidelines are all important qualities for success.

 

Can I have my own kids living at home?

Yes. Including the foster parent’s own children, there can be no more than six total children under the age of 19 in a 2 parent household; with no more than four of those children under the age of six. A single-parent household can have no more than four total children living in the home, and there should be no more than two (children under the age of six.

How will my children be affected by foster children?

All children are influenced by the behaviors and attitudes of other people, whether these individuals are friends at school, neighbors, or foster children. If your children understand your expectations and have a sense of appropriate behavior and values, it is unlikely that they will be adversely affected.

 

Do foster children need their own bedrooms?

No. Children of the same sex are permitted to share bedrooms provided that the foster child has space for personal belongings and opportunities for privacy. Children are not allowed to share the same bed. The bedroom designated for the foster child must have a door for privacy and a window to allow for ventilation and a second means of escape in case of emergency.

 

Are foster care payments tax-exempt?

Yes, according to Internal Revenue Code section 131. If you are providing foster care and receive qualified foster care payments, you do not need to list them as part of your gross income. Therefore, yes, they are exempt from income tax.

Do Children ever become available for adoption?

Yes. Sometimes, for various reasons, children are unable to return home and may have a court-ordered goal of adoption. Foster families are always given adoption consideration when a child in their home needs a permanent family