Newsletter

,

We Train Foster Parents

Have you considered becoming a foster parent, but aren’t sure you have what it takes?  Do you want to help children in need, but don’t know what to expect? Are you overwhelmed by the potential legal and emotional issues, and not quite ready to make the commitment?

Don’t worry. We know that becoming a foster parent is a big commitment and a huge change in your family’s life. That’s why we offer training for anyone who thinks they might want to be a foster parent.

Male foster parent and female foster parent and foster child relaxing on sofa at home

A happy, young family of three consisting of father, mother and foster daughter relaxing on sofa at home

Becoming a Foster Parent

All foster parents in our area are required to complete TIPS-MAPP training prior to being licensed. This is a ten week course that explains the realities of life as a foster parent, including how the system works, the legal facets of fostering, feelings and behaviors you may encounter, rights and responsibilities of foster parents, and much more. This training is completely free of charge, and offered many times a year in locations all over the state. You’ll be able to find a session that fits your schedule.

The purpose of TIPS-MAPP training is not only to prepare candidates for their role as foster parents, but also to let you figure out if fostering is the right path for you and your family.  Fostering is a big decision, and requires the support of both parents, as well as any children in the household. If you decide that you aren’t ready or equipped to foster, for any reason, you aren’t under any obligation to do so, even if you complete the full course. There are other ways you can help our kids, such as volunteering or donating.

Learn More About Becoming a Foster Parent

If you’re thinking about becoming a foster parent, you can find more information on our training here or you can call our Recruitment Specialists at 800-279-9914. For more information on any of our programs, feel free to contact us.

5 Books to Introduce Young Children to Foster Care

Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care

by Jennifer Wilgocki and Marcia Kahn Wright

This book anticipates many of the questions children will have about going into foster care. It answers some general questions and introduces the audience to the many roles adults will play too, such as a judge or social worker in addition to foster parents. Maybe Days also acknowledges how often “maybe” is the answer to children’s questions and the feelings going into foster care brings up.

Kids Need to Be Safe: A Book for Children in Foster Care

mother reading books to child about foster care

Mother reading to a child.

by Julie Nelson

This author set out to reassure kids that they are not in foster care because they did something wrong or were not good enough. The message is repeated to help it stick even for very young children: “Kids are important,” and being with a foster family is to keep them safe. It also introduces the people children meet such as social workers or police officers.

Finding the Right Spot: When Kids Can’t Live With Their Parents

by Janice Levy

This story follows a girl living with a foster parent as she navigates being separated from her mother and all of the emotions she feels towards her caretaker and parent. It aims to help children who relate to the main character understand and talk about their feelings more freely.

A Mother for Choco

by Keiko Kasza

A bird goes out looking for a mother, at first thinking she must look like him. After encountering many animals, he meets Mrs. Bear. She takes care of him even though they don’t seem very alike and he meets other animals at her home that she takes care of as well, learning they can all be a family together.

Love You From Right Here: A Keepsake Book for Children in Foster Care

by Jamie Sandefer

This book is not only a story to read to foster children, but a gift you can give them. The story follows a little girl as she adjusts to life in a new foster home. No matter what emotions come, positive or negative, the child is assured that they are cared for and that it is okay to have so many strong emotions. At the end is a section for a few photos and notes of memories the child can take with them to their next home. It can also introduce older children to keeping their own journal through multiple homes.

Learn more about Books to Introduce Young Children to Foster Care

Contact us for more resources to help children adjust to foster care, to learn about becoming foster parents, or information about how you can help support our mission.

The Sad Reality of Teens in Foster Care

A child’s eighteenth birthday is often looked towards with joy and excitement. That is unless that child is in the foster care system with no hopes of birth parent reunification.

When placed into the foster care system, the goal (whenever possible) is always to reunite birth families. Children, if issues cannot be fixed or when abuse has been substantial, are placed to be adopted. But what happens when nobody adopts them?

What Happens Without Adoption?

Without being adopted into a loving family, children simply grow up in the foster care system. Most people looking to adopt are trying to find an infant, toddler, or young child. The sad truth is that the older a child gets, the lower their chances of getting adopted are. Without adoption, teens simply “age out” of the foster care system, which means they turn into adults without parents to guide them.

Aging Out of the Foster Care System

When a teenage foster child turns eighteen there is no more funding for their foster families in most cases. Some states have taken initiatives to allow for further funding up to the age of 21 if foster kids stay in school or have special needs. These extended funding programs, unfortunately, have extremely limited funding and approval can be difficult.

In the end, it becomes too late to assist the teens, who are left to fend for themselves. These teenagers are still basically children that are ill-equipped to take care of themselves and often end up homeless or in jail.

Foster Care Woman and Boy Child Talking inside a retro home

How To Help

Fostering teens is a fantastic way to make a difference in this harsh reality. By opening your home to teenage foster children in need, you can help provide them with the basic life skills they will need once they are out of the system.

Adopting a teen foster kid can provide them with a loving family support network to fall back on during those trying early adult years. Contact us for more information on how you can make a difference.

,

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.