Foster Parent Requirements
Qualifications for Parents:
The following is a list of minimum basic requirements to become a foster parent:
- Be over the age of 25.
- Pass a Criminal Background Check.
- Have a regular source of income to support your own monthly expenses.
- Have at least one available bedroom.
- Have a car, valid car insurance & a clean DMV report.
- Have some flexibility in your schedule to accomodate the foster children's court ordered visits, therapy, medical appointments, etc.
- Your home must pass a state required Home Safety Check.
- You must supervise foster children, including teens, when they are not in school or in supervised activities.
- You may be single or married.
- You may own or rent your home or apartment.
There are a number of state required regulations that our foster parents must comply with. Some selected examples are:
- If firearms or other weapons are owned and stored in the
house, they are stored unloaded in a locked cabinet and
ammunition is stored and locked in a separate location.
- Your vehicle is able to transport all family members with seats and
working seat belts for each passenger.
- You must have a valid California drivers license (exception for military families).
- There are no more than two children per bedroom. Children five years and older must share a room with a child of the same sex.
- Children two years and older cannot share a room with an
- All medicines are in a locked box, away from minor's reach.
- Spa, if applicable, has a lockable cover or is surrounded by a 5
foot fence with a lockable gate and is only used by children
with adult supervision.
- Swimming pool, if applicable, is fenced with at least a five (5) foot
high fence with a lockable gate. If a lockable cover is used, it
has to support the weight of an adult. The lock is no more than 6 inches from the top of the gate. Toxic pool maintenance
products are kept in locked storage. Life preservers are
readily accessible and the area is kept free of glass, other sharp
objects and debris. No pools of any kind are allowed without
a proper fence.
- Telephone service connected, phones working properly, easily & accessible.
Emergency numbers are posted within view of phone.
- Alcohol products/liquors are stored in a locked cabinet.
- Sharp tools such as scissors, knives, etc. are stored in a place
inaccessible to children.
- Power tools and equipment are stored safely and are
inaccessible to children.
- Corporal punishment may NEVER be used to discipline foster or adoptive children.
The rest is an assortment of application documents that must be completed and acquired, such as your DMV driving record, CPR and First Aid Certificates and a routine physical and TB test. Foster families are required to complete 12 hours of pre-certification training and maintain 12 hours of training annually.
Parents are selected on the basis of a home study process which includes the exploration of family dynamics and communication style, family stability, family history, lifestyle, expectations of children's needs and development, former parenting experience and understanding of the commitment and meaning of the foster care process.
Of primary importance in the selection criteria are the following:
Desire and capacity to parent a child not born to you
Flexibility and adaptability
Willingness to seek help
Openness to self-exploration and change
Commitment and stability
Families are assessed in terms of their desire to parent and their likelihood to be able to tolerate the change, intrusion, and disruption that will follow the placement of a child. Key assessment factors are the degree of attention which children require, as well as what foster parents are able to give; and the realistic versus the unrealistic expectations of foster parenting. Social support systems are evaluated and informal systems of support are assessed.
Ability to keep accurate records and provide mandatory documentation on a timely basis.
Ability to provide physical and emotional care.
Ability to recognize and meet individual needs.
Experience of some kind with child care or supervision.
Ability to accept a child into your home as well as let them
understand and show acceptance of children's parents, commitment to promoting
the reunification of families and permanency for children.
Willingness to work as a professional.
Adequate physical and mental health as certified by a
provide the minimum of a bed and private space for belongings for each child.
An adequate income for support of your own family.