Foster parents embrace children into their homes and love them for the time they have them. They value the child’s family connection and provide a safe, caring home until they can return home, be adopted or live independently. Once a child is placed into a foster home, there is no guarantee whether that child will live there for a few days or a few weeks or even a year or more.
Foster parents are not guardians, nor do they have legal custody of a child in their care, but they are an important part of the decision-making process regarding a child’s safety, well-being and permanency.
Requirements for application
- If single, at least 25 years of age and at least 10 years older than the child
- If married, at least 10 years older than the child
- Criminal records and child abuse registry check
- Home safety checks
- Reference from a doctor to ensure that all household members are free from communicable diseases and in good health
- Drug Screen
- Attendance at a 2-hour informational meeting
- Completion of a 24-hour IMPACT Pre-Service training
- Completion of a home evaluation
- Financial help – Foster parents are paid a daily reimbursement by the State for each child they foster. The amount depends on the age of the child. Foster parents also receive an initial as well as yearly clothing allowance from the State.
- Medical Insurance – Each foster child’s medical and related expenses are paid by Medicaid.
- Foster parents should have sufficient income to support their current family’s needs before adding a foster child.
- You can own or rent an apartment, house or condominium.
- You can work outside your home and be a foster parent. The State will pay for childcare.
- Any major life change – recent marriage, divorce, birth of a child, or other major change in the family — will be assessed on an individual basis.
Placement of Children in Need
We learn a lot about potential foster parents through our application process and initial training program. The ongoing support we offer through weekly contact with our social worker is invaluable and reassuring. Together, we work to achieve positive outcomes when a child is placed into your home.
Foster Parent Support
The staff at Bloom ensures you have the support and resources needed to be a successful foster parent. If a child comes to your home needing clothes, toys, a crib or other items, the team at The Bloom Closet helps you find them. When you just need someone to talk to who understands the challenges and demands, our social workers provide the support you need.
Bloom Foster Care provides you with a dedicated point of contact who is available all of the time for emergencies and who handles communications with agencies. You can focus on your most important responsibility — loving and nurturing the children in your care.
Training and Certification
We facilitate the entire foster family certification and training program, including application, initial training and continuing education. Instructor-led training and online learning keeps you on track and helps you complete the process faster.
Some of the services we provide include:
- Individualized treatment planning for the child
- 24-hour access to our professional staff in the event of a crisis
- Weekly contact with a social worker
- Required annual foster care training provided by our staff and experts
- Referral information for any community services your foster child needs
- Respite care when you need a break
- Access to services and supplies donated by businesses and individuals
- The opportunity to network with other foster families