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What is Required to Become a Foster Parent?

Requirements to Become a Foster Parent

Many families are under the impression only certain people are able to foster. This idea has become prevalent through mass media sources like television or movies, but it is very wrong. You don’t need to own your home or even be married to help children currently living in the foster care system. The following are the only requirements currently defined by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and Adopt US Kids.

  • Foster parents must be at least 21 years of age and have a driver’s license with a working vehicle in the household.
  • Foster parents may be single. If they are in a relationship (or divorced) the relationship must be a healthy one devoid of serious conflict or domestic disputes.
  • A resource family must be able to manage their current financial needs without reliance upon the foster care reimbursement checks. This can include food stamps, WIC, child support, and other forms of income pertaining to members of your CURRENT household.
  • All members of your household over the age of thirteen must pass criminal background checks. This does include any minor children you may have or those of any family members currently living with you. This ensures there are no previous allegations regarding abuse or neglect of any kind.
  • Foster parents must be in good health, both mentally and physically, and be able to provide personal and/or work references.
  • Resource homes must provide appropriate sleeping arrangements for each foster placement. This does not have to be their own room, but must be their own bed in a room which does not include members of the opposite gender.
  • Foster parents must agree to never smoke in either the resource home or vehicle when children are present.
  • Potential fosters will need to agree to compliance with the Department of Health Service’s rules on discipline. These may be different than those you would choose to use on your biological children but are the ONLY allowances regarding discipline with children in the foster care system.

Happy family in the park evening light. The lights of a sun. Mom, dad and baby happy walk at sunset. The concept of a happy family.Parents hold the baby's hands.

Learn More About Becoming a Foster Parent

For more information on becoming a foster parent contact us today. We would love to give you more information and help you on your path to becoming a state-licensed resource home.

What is Required to Become a Foster Parent?

Many families are under the impression only certain people are able to foster. This idea has become prevalent through mass media sources like television or  movies, but it is very wrong. You do not need to own your home nor even be married to help children currently living in the foster care system. Here are the requirements to become a foster parent currently defined by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

What is Required to Become a Foster Parent?

  • Foster parents must be at least 21 years of age and have a driver’s license with working vehicle in the household.
  • Foster parents may be single. If they are in a relationship (or divorced) the relationship must be a healthy one devoid of serious conflict or domestic disputes.
  • A resource family must be able to manage their current financial needs without reliance upon the foster care reimbursement checks. This can include food stamps, WIC, child support, and other forms of income pertaining to members of your CURRENT household.
  • All members of your household over the age of thirteen must pass criminal background checks. This does include any minor children you may have or those of any family members currently living with you. This ensures there are no previous allegations regarding abuse or neglect of any kind.
  • Foster parents must be in good health, both mentally and physically, and be able to provide personal and/or work references.
  • Resource homes must provide appropriate sleeping arrangements for each foster placement. This does not have to be their own room, but must be their own bed in a room which does not include members of the opposite gender.
  • Foster parents must agree to never smoke in either the resource home or vehicle when children are present.
  • Potential fosters will need to agree to compliance on the Department of Health Service’s rules on discipline. These may be different than those you would choose to use on your biological children but are the ONLY allowances regarding discipline with children in the foster care system.

For more information on becoming a foster parent contact us today. We would love to give you more information and help you on your path to becoming a state licensed resource home.

Becoming A Foster Parent: Basic Rights

Becoming A Foster Parent: Basic RightsCurrent and potential foster families may have questions about their rights regarding the children in their care. This article aims to shed light on some of the most basic rights given to foster parents via the state, as well as debunk a few widely held beliefs which skew the public’s image of foster families.

Foster Parents Are Not Birth Parents

When it comes to legal rights it is important to note foster parents are different from birth parents. Whenever possible the goal of final child placement is reunification with the birth parents. When this is the case birth parents still have say about the rearing of their children while in foster care.

Foster Families May Choose Placements

The Oklahoma Fosters website states that foster families may restrict placements through ‘request preferences.’ Resource families may restrict placements based on gender, health, religion, age, and more. When presented with a placement foster parents are always allowed to say no.

It is important to note, however, that the further you restrict your placements the longer it may take to receive one. It is always hoped that foster parents place as few restrictions as possible, so they may help the largest number of children.

Fosters also have the right to request additional information on children in their care (if there is any) and to request a child or children be transferred to a different foster home if the need arises. These rights are written into the Foster Bill of Rights.

Resource Families May Receive Assistance

State assistance is available to resource families. The Oklahoma State Department of Health states this includes not only food stamps, but also WIC for qualifying children under five. In addition, foster parents receive reimbursements each month to assist in the costs of caring for the fosters placed in their home. This amount varies based on the number of children and their respective needs.

If you have additional questions about becoming a foster parent, would like to donate towards the care of foster children, or would like to speak with a caseworker about taking the first steps towards fostering please contact us today.

July 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Summer Time Fun

June means the end of the school year, and with it, a lot of kids without much to do. While many people imagine summer vacation being a bunch of lazy days, the fact is most parents have to work and worry about what they’ll do to keep the kids busy and out of trouble. The following Tips for Parents will help you plan fun summer activities for your kids.

June 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Self-care: Do it for yourself, your family, and your kids

If resource parents had a motto, it might be “children first.” Or perhaps “children and their families first.” Either would be fitting. Foster and adoptive parents and kinship caregivers do what they do because they want to see children and their families heal and thrive

May 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Keep Calm… Summer is coming!

Enjoy this summer but take a few precautions to protect your child(ren) and yourself from some of the more dangerous aspects of this season. Here are some summer safety tips and ideas on what to do this summer.

April 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Child Abuse Prevention Month

National Child Abuse Prevention Month began as a reaction to increased public awareness of child abuse throughout the 1970’s. As a result, Ronald Reagan declared April National Child Abuse Prevention month in 1983. The goal was to increase understanding of what contributes to the prevalence of child abuse and, more importantly, how to prevent it.

March 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Spring Break

Spring Break is quickly approaching; with that comes the stress of keeping many children occupied and happy! Most of us are operating on a budget which requires a Spring Break “Staycation”. Here is a list of ideas that could help generate ideas for your family to have a successful Spring Break this year!

February 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Allegations Happen:
How to Prevent and Survive Them

Foster and adoptive families who have lots of children, including children of different races, and who have been fostering for a long time are at greater risk of being reported for alleged abuse. All families who care for children with special needs face some risk, and every parent can take steps to keep situations from turning into allegations. Below are some ideas for parents to consider.

January 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Life Changing New Year Resolutions Every Foster Parent Should Make

Foster parenting is both a worthwhile endeavor and a tough job. Make some resolutions that will make it even more rewarding and life changing in the new year.