The nuclear family has long since come and gone. Although the idea of having a traditional family with both a mom and dad used to appeal to everyone, that's not the case anymore. In fact, for many families that concept is just unrealistic. Whether you are in a same-sex marriage, are single, divorced, or you just don't fit into the traditional nuclear family, it doesn't mean that you can't have kids. With so many different ways that you can start a family, one option that's worth considering is fostering.
Fostering is the process in which you take in children who are in the custody of Child Protected Services because they were taken from their homes for a number of reasons, including health and safety. One thing to keep in mind when considering fostering children is that you typically don't get to pick the age of a child. For some people, fostering a baby is ideal because you get to help raise them when they're young, but for other people a teenager may be ideal. Although you can list your preferences on your application, sometimes they aren't considered because there are too many children in the system who need parents.
To ensure that you have a fair shot of becoming a foster parent, you may need to go through the foster care licensing process, which allows you to move forward with the fostering process. What can you expect from the application process? This article will take a closer look.
1. Background Check
One of the first things that they will do when you are applying for your foster care license is run a background check to ensure that you don't have a criminal history or any outstanding warrants, and that you are an upstanding citizen. As long as everything comes back clear and okay, you will move on to the next step.
Similar to applying for a job, you will need to have references that you can put down on your application to show that people will vouch for you and your character. Good people to include on your references are church leaders, community members, friends with children, or even family members.
3. Have Space In Your Home
Another thing that a lot of people don't consider before applying for a license is the space in their home. They will want to ensure that your foster child has their own space (aka their own bedroom) and their own bed. If you live in a studio apartment or even a one-bedroom apartment, you probably won't qualify.
After you fill out paperwork, do some training, pass some tests, and do an in-home evaluation, you may be qualified to get your license. To learn more, reach out to a foster care agency near you. Companies like Kids Count Too can offer more information.