We love our foster parents, and we know that they are the critical part of our team that we cannot do without. Foster parents care for children who have been taken into DCFS custody due to an abuse or neglect hotline allegation. Foster parents do almost everything that a parent does: guide and nurture, help with homework, provide meals, assist with taking the child to medical appointments, attend school meetings and provide the child with a stable home environment. Perfection is not required - but an open mind and an open heart is.
Become a foster parent
Family Service Center is always looking for new foster parents. Foster parents must be: at least 21 years of age, have a stable and sufficient income, have a safe home, have no criminal history, be in good physical and emotional health, be able to complete the required training and home study process and genuinely care about children. Family Service Center proudly works to license families regardless of marital status, sexual preference or race.
Family Service Center has an experienced licensing worker who will guide you through the process of becoming licensed. There is no expense for training costs. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a foster parent, please contact us.
Types of Foster Care
Family Service Center provides three types of foster care, relative foster care, traditional foster care and specialized foster care. DCFS always tries to attempt to locate a relative for foster care placement if possible. The relative must be able to pass a background check and live in a safe home, and qualify as an immediate family member. Relative foster placements do not have to be licensed, but are encouraged to do so.
Traditional foster care is a placement with a non relative who has become licensed with the agency. As a traditional foster parent you are required to complete the licensing process, submit to background checks, a home study, attend training and comply with the licensing standards for foster family homes. Traditional placements are asked to identify their preference in age, race, gender and special needs of the children for whom they will be providing a foster care placement. Our agency tries to find the best possible match for any foster children needing a home.
Many of the children that our agency works with have behavioral, mental health or medical needs that can’t adequately be maintained in a traditional placement. Specialized foster care can be a placement with a relative or non relative, who has become licensed with the agency. As a specialized foster parent you are required to complete the licensing process, submit to background checks, a home study, attend training and comply with the licensing standards for foster family homes. Specialized foster placements are asked to take additional training to learn to parent children with more intensive needs. A general training will be offered initially by Family Service Center and then additional training will be offered on an ongoing basis specific to the child’s needs. The agency offers additional supports to specialized homes including visits from the caseworker at least three times a month, counseling services for the child and behavior specialists who are on call and able to respond to crisis situations seven days a week. A larger monthly subsidy is also provided to specialized foster parents to help address additional needs of the children. Specialized placements are asked by the licensing worker at the initial meeting to identify their preference in age, race, gender and special needs of the children for whom they will be providing a foster care placement.
The goal of Family Service Center is always to try to return children back home to their birth family if at all possible. If this is not an option due to parents not cooperating with services then adoption is explored as a permanent placement. The foster to adoption process is called an adoption conversion. Your caseworker or adoption worker will complete all the adoption paperwork, you will be allowed to choose an attorney to represent your family and DCFS pays all attorney fees. There is no cost to you for an adoption conversion, but you may still be able to take a federal tax credit.
Foster Parent Law Implentation Plan
Click here to view our Foster Parent Law Implentation Plan 2013