Foster Care Overview: What is Foster Care?

When a child is placed in foster care, the goal is to place a child in a temporary loving, nurturing family until they are reunified with their biological family or kin. Unlike adoption, fostering is intended to be a temporary placement.

Children and youth in foster care learn to count on the warmth and compassion of our foster families. First Home Care’s foster parents are provided with therapeutic, trauma-informed training to meet the needs of the children in their care. Support, supervision, and 24-hour crisis intervention are available from First Home Care’s mental health professionals.

How Long Can A Child Stay in Foster Care?

A child remains in the foster care system until they are 18 years old or 21 with an independent living program. However, fostering a child can last anywhere from a few months or until they age out of the system.

The point of foster care is to provide a safe and nurturing home for children until they can be reunited with their biological family. If reunification is not possible the goal is changed to adoption and a permanent home is sought for the youth. Every situation is unique to that child and families situation.

Fostering to adopt is also a possibility. Learn more. [1] 

How Much Do You Get Paid to Be a Foster Parent?

Deciding to foster a child or teenager for money is the wrong reason to get involved, but money is an essential facet of caring for and raising a foster child. That’s why states offer assistance to those who are kind enough to accept a foster child into their home as a way of helping offset the costs of someone else living under their roof.

Rates vary from state to state and county to county (as do most laws and benefits surrounding foster care), but base rates extend anywhere from around $400 a month to over $1,000.

There are also other ways that counties and cities help out foster parents and their foster children. The best way to find out these things is to connect with your agency or explore your local government websites.

Remember: Fostering a child should be about the desire to maintain a safe and stable environment while they grow up. Please do not get into foster care just for money – we care about these children’s futures, and so should whoever decides to foster them.

What Do I Need to Become a Foster Parent?

The easiest way to become a foster parent is to contact an agency, like First Home Care. First Home Care will walk you through the process from start to finish, making the process as simple as possible.

The requirements to be a foster parent vary from state to state, but usually include: 

  • You must be over the age of 21.
  • You must have a sustainable income that can support a foster child.
  • You must have no felonies or misdemeanors for physical or sexual abuse. This is misleading…you must not have a Barrier crime.
  • You must have a home with enough space for a foster child.
  • You must be willing to have all of your family members’ including yourself receive a medical assessment.
  • You must attend the provided foster training by your agency or the state.

To learn more about our services, or to become a foster parent, call 757-393-7200 or email us. We are here to answer your questions and guide you through the process.