Become a Foster Parent
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BECOME A FOSTER PARENT
Family is not always about blood ties, and can be made up of people with whom we voluntarily join together: ‘Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother’ (Mark 3:35).
Foster parents are ordinary people who do extraordinary things for children and families in crisis. With a deep capacity to care and the commitment to stick with a child in difficult circumstances, these caregivers provide havens for children to begin healing from trauma with the goal of eventually returning home to their families. When appropriately trained and properly supported, foster parents — both kin and non-relative caregivers — are critical partners in a child-centered foster care system.
At House of New Hope, there is a 4 step process to becoming a licensed treatment foster and/or foster-to-adopt parent. As a foster-to-adopt parent, there are just a couple of additional steps you must complete to adopt a child placed in your care. The time it takes to complete either process is as little as 6-weeks to four months... (depending on how quickly you get things completed!)
Speak to a member of our recruitment team who will discuss the pros and cons of foster parenting as it relates to your specific circumstances, interests and capabilities. Call (888) 200-1296 toll free and ask for Licensing.
You can expect us to be honest and straightforward with you.
Complete 36 hours of required pre-service training designed to properly prepare you for children with varying degrees of behavioral, social, academic or spiritual challenges. Pre-Service training includes:
An orientation to foster care and adoption
The child protection team
Helping the child manage emotions and behavior
Understanding primary families
The effects of caregiving on the caregiver's family
First Aid, CPR & AED certification
Over the course of the year, training is offered at various times through the week, evenings, daytime and weekends in both classroom and webinar settings.
Participate in the family assessment... referred to as a “home study.” It involves gathering information about each member of your family and formally assessing your capability to care for children. We will ask you many questions about your childhood, relationships and interests. The assessment is extensive -- but usually not difficult -- and gives you an opportunity to think about yourself, your interests and your motivations.
Upon completion of your paperwork, criminal background checks and pre-service training, our Certified Licensing Assessor will contact you to complete the required Home Study. This includes multiple visits to your home and conversations with all household members regarding their thoughts and feelings about becoming a foster family. It is at this time that you will also specify the gender, age, medical and behavioral characteristics of a foster child that you are or are not willing to invite into your home.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST ME TO BECOME A FOSTER PARENT?
There is no charge to the applicant for the licensing process to become a treatment foster caregiver.
After a child is placed in your home, House of New Hope will pay you a monthly subsidy to help cover the expenses incurred for room and board, clothing and supplies.
Additional amounts are paid for your participation in House of New Hope training, child care and day care.
All of the child's medical and dental expenses are paid by Medicaid. Counseling and other therapy needs are also covered by Medicaid.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE ME TO GET A FOSTER CHILD?
The licensing process usually takes from 6-weeks to 4 months.
You will have to be fingerprinted, your credit history checked, and the completion of a home study in which all of your immediate family members and/or other household members are interviewed during 2-3 home visits in order to get to know you better.
Your home will need both a safety and fire inspection completed, and any adult to be placed on the license will have to complete 36 hours of pre-service training.
After your license is issued, the time it takes for a placement will depend on the ages, gender and characteristics of children you would be willing to care for and the availability of children that match your preferences.
WHAT IS HOUSE OF NEW HOPE'S ROLE IN THIS PROCESS?
We are a license recommending agency for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
We will walk you through the process, provide you with all necessary training, do the home study and prepare you for the home inspections.
After you become licensed, our agency will provide you with an ongoing therapeutic case manager to encourage, help and support you as you assist a child in their healing.
We will pray with you if this is your request and we will pray for you regardless.
We are also responsible to help you renew your license each year.
CAN I SPECIFY WHAT CHILD I TAKE INTO MY HOME?
During the licensing process you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding the age, gender, and number of children you are interested in considering.
You will also be asked about the emotional and physical challenges that you would be willing to tackle.
Before a placement is made, House of New Hope's licensing department will discuss everything known about the child at the time of referral and help you decide whether or not that child would be a match for your family.
You have the right to say "no."
WHERE DO THE CHILDREN COME FROM?
Our foster children come from many different public children service agencies throughout Ohio. The children are in the custody of their county and may come from cities like Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Canton, Wooster, Lancaster, Mt. Vernon, Newark and many others.
Most children will be reunified with their parents or other family member while about 15% may be or become eligible for adoption.
WHAT AGE GROUP REPRESENTS THE GREATEST NEED FOR TREATMENT FOSTER HOMES?
Due to Ohio's growing opiate epidemic in which parental drug use is leading to child neglect and other child maltreatment, there is a rapidly growing need for foster homes that will accept drug addicted newborns and infants.
Since most children enter foster care with their siblings, there is also a great need for homes willing to accept brothers and sisters of all ages.
Teenagers are unfairly spending long periods of time in residential treatment because there are not enough foster homes willing to accept a teenager... especially those with some behavioral histories.
It is awfully important to note that regardless of age or reported behaviors, House of New Hope has never had a foster parent injured by a foster child.
IS THERE ANY WAY TO GRADUALLY WORK UP TO ACCEPTING A CHILD FULL-TIME?
Absolutely! Periodically either foster parents or foster children need a break. This break is called a "respite." Whether overnight, a weekend or for a few weeks, a licensed treatment foster caregiver provides alternative care and assists in preventing a disruption, self-care or a well-needed break.
By providing respite services, you get experience with foster children for short periods of time not usually exceeding two weeks.
WHAT IF I ONLY WANT INFANTS?
The need for families to foster infants is steadily rising due to Ohio's opiate epidemic.
However, many of these infants are part of a larger sibling group and many of the infants coming into care are drug exposed.
Many of them need lots of attention and holding, or may have medical needs or complications. You will need to be prepared with a crib, infant car seat, swing, etc.
You should be open to receive the placement 24/7.
HOW LONG DO CHILDREN USUALLY STAY IN THE FOSTER HOME?
While the length of placement varies from a few days to many years, the average placement lasts 6-9 months.
75% or more of foster children are reunited with their parents or other family members.
WHAT HAPPENS TO FOSTER CHILDREN WHEN THEY LEAVE MY HOME?
While children are in foster care, the custodial county children service agency is working with the family to rectify the problems that caused the children to come into care to begin with.
There are services offered to the parents such as alcohol and other drug rehabilitation, anger management counseling, and parenting classes.
If the parent shows progress in getting their life under control, the children will be returned to the parent after many supervised and unsupervised home visits. The county will continue to monitor the family to insure the child's safety.
If the parent cannot overcome the barriers to parenting, the county seeks out close and distant family members in order to provide kinship care.
However many of our foster families adopt their foster children if the case plan changes to adoption.
ISN'T IT HARD TO LET A CHILD GO AFTER HAVING THEM BECOME A PART OF YOUR FAMILY?
YES! It is hard. Foster care is a ministry to assist in the healing of a traumatized child. Sometimes ministry is hard! However, the rewards are huge.
To take a child into your home, giving soothing, reassurance of safety and demonstrating your commitment to them time and time again can have a life changing effect on these children. In James 1:27 God has asked us "to care for the orphans and widows in their time of need." He will give us the strength to care for them and the courage to let them go when the time comes.
WHY SHOULD I SELECT HOUSE OF NEW HOPE AS OUR AGENCY?
Experience.... House of New Hope was founded by foster parents and many of our staff are foster parents or have adopted. We really know the challenges and the joys of foster caregiving!
Mission.... We believe that we were called to serve and have made it our mission to assist and improve the lives of Ohio's most vulnerable children and youth.
Responsive.... We are certainly not perfect, but we learn from our errors and respond to your needs. We keep few secrets, are direct and honest with you, work hard to maintain a close and healthy relationship with you, and encourage you to find your voice with us.
Support.... Foster caregiving is emotionally tiring work. Knowing this first hand, we are available to you around-the-clock. You are never really alone!
Training.... House of New Hope's training institute provides cutting edge training virtually every week of the year... daytime, evenings or weekends, both in classroom and webinar formats.