Becoming a foster parent is a challenging experience which takes time and nerves of parents-to-be. They usually spend from four to twelve months on preparing to get a license for foster care; this is the period of studying and submitting numerous applications to the local and state agencies. However, the process is not limited to the paperwork. Before getting started, adults shall research the field of foster care and find out more about responsibilities they take with a child. To get an access to the valid and useful information, parents-to-be shall contact a local foster care agency. Orientation is the pre-stage which provides information and support for the families without no previous experience of foster care.
Before the process of application begins, people shall complete pre-service training which will demonstrate their ability to take care of a child. The classes are free and are scheduled in the evening so that people who work a full day can attend them. The duration of training varies from 4 to 10 weeks. The paperwork begins as soon as the training is completed. During the application process, future parents must provide the foster agency with income verification, results of criminal record screening, letters of reference from the current employer and some other documents. After the papers are submitted, applicants can meet their caseworker who will conduct interviews and arrange additional inspection and background check. The caseworker may also require a home study which lasts from three to six months.
After the application is finally accepted, the local foster agency will require a range of safety measures installed in the house. As soon as the foster child arrives, they will need appropriate clothes, toys, food, hygiene items which shall be purchased immediately. Living with the foster child, parents keep contact with the caseworker who may help if any further questions arise.