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Adopting or Fostering a Child

The process of becoming a foster or adoptive parent is straightforward and includes the following steps:

  • Attend an orientation session
  • Complete and return an application
  • Submit to a criminal background check and fingerprinting
  • Allow home visits and personal interviews
  • Provide reference checks
  • Pass a physical examination
  • Pass home safety and cleanliness inspections
  • Complete the Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting  (MAPP) Training (36 hours for foster parents and 30 hours for adoptive parents)
  • Work with staff to complete the licensure process

Criteria to become a foster or adoptive parent:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Home must be inspected by the fire department
  • Each family member must have a physical exam and a tuberculosis test
  • Must have adequate bedroom space per child
  • Must be willing to provide care for children of all ages based on departmental needs (foster care only)
  • You must have identifi ed support services to assist with emergencies that occur with the children placed in your home, e.g., picking up a sick child from school or day care during business hours
  • You must be willing to secure your swimming pool or trampoline
  • Must have a land-line telephone
  • Must permit a home consultation with a social worker
  • Must undergo a criminal record check and be fi ngerprinted
  • Must provide copies of marriage certifi cate if married, divorce decrees or death certifi cate for former spouse if previously married
  • Must have sufficient income to meet your needs
  • Cannot be receiving government public assistance, e.g., food stamps, public housing, and TANF
  • Capacity guidelines for YFS:
    • No more than 2 children under the age of 2
    • No more than 3 children under the age of 5
    • No more than 5 children under the age of 12
  • You must be aware that any person with an extensive criminal history, including crimes against children, drugs, and any felony, can be screened out by the agency
  • If you are a couple, both parties have to meet all criteria and complete the required training
  • You must be employed, unless you receive retirement benefits or disability

Guardians or foster or adoptive parents DO NOT have to:

  • Own your home
  • Have a savings account
  • Be married
  • Be a "stay-at-home" parent
  • Be a high school or college graduate

What assistance do foster or adoptive parents receive?

  • Foster and adoptive parents receive financial and adoption assistance to provide for the well-being and care of the child. A monthly stipend (at least $450 per month) is provided according to the age and needs of a child. The stipend received by a foster and adoptive parent is non-taxable and cannot be recorded as income
  • Vendor payments are made directly to providers of preapproved medical services and psychological or remedial services for conditions due to the child's heredity or for pre-existing conditions
  • Non-recurring Expenses - clothes, cribs, car seats, supplies the kids need
  • Medicaid (child only)

To request more information, fill out the interest form and an agency representative will contact you.

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