How to Apply
Report A Change
When it is determined that a child cannot live safely in his or her own home, it becomes necessary for the child to be placed in a substitute care setting. We typically try to place the child with kinship providers. Kinship care is a temporary or permanent arrangement in which a relative or any non-relative adult who has a long-standing relationship or bond with the child and/or family takes over the full-time, substitute care of a child whose parents are unable or unwilling to do so. But when kinship care is not an option, we place the child in a licensed foster home. Children of all ages depend upon foster parents to help care for them during these times of crisis. There is a critical need for caring adults who want to provide this substitute care to children in Holmes County.
Foster parents care for children until a court decides that they can return home safely or that they should be placed with adoptive parents or legal guardians. Oftentimes, foster parents work directly with the child's parents, teaching them skills and encouraging them. Foster parents are also active and involved in the child's case. Most children return to their parents or another relative within a year, but sometimes it takes longer. When you become a foster parent, you agree to care for the child as long as necessary.
To become a foster parent, you must meet all the requirements shown below. Additionally, a caseworker will conduct a home study to make sure you are prepared to be a foster parent and meet all the general requirements. Pre-placement training is a part of the home study process; and ongoing training is provided to help foster parents understand the child's needs. As a foster parent, you will receive continued support and guidance from your caseworker and our agency.
- You must be at least 21 years old.
- At least one person in your home must be able to read, write and speak English, or be able to communicate effectively with both the child and our agency.
- You may be single or married.
- Your household must have enough income to meet the basic needs of the child and to make timely payment of shelter costs.
- You must be free of any physical, emotional, or mental conditions that could endanger the child or seriously impair your ability to care for the child.
- A licensed physician, physician's assistant, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse practitioner or certified nurse-midwife must complete and sign a medical statement for you and each member of your household.
- All adult household members must complete a criminal background check (some, but not all, crimes will disqualify you from being a licensed foster parent).
- A certified state fire safety inspector or the state fire marshal's office must inspect your home and certify that it is free of hazardous conditions.
- You must complete all required pre-placement and continuing training.
- Foster families receive subsidies to help meet children's daily living needs. Children in foster care are eligible for medical coverage through Medicaid.
If you would like more information, or if you think you might want to become a foster parent, call Luella Gilbert today at 330-674-1111, ext. 8709.