Bro-sis-plaid-fun-DMSTFOSTER PARENTING: WHY NOT YOU?

Right now, there is a child in YOUR community who needs you!

  • A boy who was neglected
  • A girl with emotional challenges
  • A boy whose family is unable to take care of him due to a recent trauma
  • A girl from a violent home

Each child/adolescent needs a special person/family who can provide, kindness, patience and understanding….to provide a safe, stable, loving, and positive place to call home. 

Pretty basic. Not too much to ask for.   In fact, it’s one of the most important things a child needs along with someone to be there for them.

Might you consider fostering a child? If you're interested in applying, click here here. 

BREAKING A FEW MYTHS ABOUT FOSTER PARENTING:

You don’t have to be perfect
You don’t have to own your own home
You don’t have to be rich
You don’t have to be married
You don’t have to have a college degree
You don’t have to already be a parent

YOU DO HAVE TO HAVE:

A big heart
An open mind
A sense of humor
A stable home
A desire to help

Some steps to becoming a foster parent:

Home study

A 21 hour training course, Granite State College foster parent training

Home health and fire inspection

Medical Information forms for each family member in your home

Criminal records check including fingerprinting

Central Registry check

To inquire about becoming a foster parent, call Child and Family Services’ Katie Cassidy, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  As a private non-profit, CFS upholds the highest standards in its practice of advancing the well-being of children and families and operates with respect to each individual’s values and right to privacy.  We will be happy to assist you with more information and provide direction on becoming a licensed foster parent!

Why Not YOU?   Thank you...

To learn more about foster parenting in New Hampshire, visit the NH State DHHS website: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcyf/adoption/fosterparent.htm.


Child and Family Services – Foster Care

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a foster parent?

A foster parent would be a part of a team of people including a CPSW (Child Protective Service Worker) or JPPO (Juvenile Probation and Parole Officer), attorneys, biological parents and family members, therapists, schools, and others, to work towards reunification of a child with their biological families.

 

What is the goal of foster care?

The primary goal of foster care is safety and permanency for the child. The first choice for permanency is for the child to return to his/her family of origin. If placement with parents or another relative is not recommended, foster parents may be asked to consider adoption, or other, pre-adoptive families are identified for children needing adoption. Children of all kinds (ages, genders, abilities), come into care, although it is up to the foster parents about which type of child they decide to foster.

 

What are the levels of foster care?

GENERAL CARE:  General care is provided to children in foster care who are placed with foster parents who have met the general licensing requirements.  Most newly-licensed homes, licensed by the State Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) fall into this category.

ISO FOSTER CARE: Foster parents are licensed by private child-placing agencies to care for children with more intensive needs. Families receive more supportive services, are expected to provide a higher level of care, and are reimbursed at a significantly higher daily rate.

RESPITE CARE: Respite care foster homes provide short-term care for children in order to give their current caregivers a break, or to care for foster children during situations when foster parents might need to leave the area and are not able to take their foster child with them. ISO respite providers may provide planned care for children with difficult needs as part of the ongoing case plan for the child. Respite foster parents complete the same training and homestudy process as general foster homes or ISO foster homes.

CRISIS CARE:  Crisis care providers must meet the requirements for Emergency Care and be willing to accept placements made after-hours by the police departments and DCYF. Crisis care parents are willing to have their names and contact information on file with other agencies and local law enforcement.  Crisis care is limited to either a 5 or 10 day maximum stay.

 

So, what is the difference, exactly?

Typically, newly licensed foster homes are licensed on a general level by DCYF. After a foster parent/family has had experience with fostering (about a year or so) and has the ability and desire to care for children with more intensive needs, (ex: behavioral concerns, medical issues, etc.) they would move their license from the general level with DCYF to a child placing agency, such as the private, nonprofit (non-government agency) Child and Family Services (CFS). If a foster parent has experience they may get a waiver to license foster parents at an ISO level.

 

What are the requirements to become a foster parent?

All foster parents in New Hampshire complete a minimum of 21 hours of pre-service training as well as other homestudy and licensing requirements (48 hours every two years thereafter for ISO foster parents). Pre-service training will help give the foster parent more details about the entire homestudy process. Attending the training does not obligate one to complete the licensing process. Pre-service training is called FACES and is presented through Granite State College.

Foster parents must be at least 21 years of age, and have a high school diploma or other equivalent education. Foster parents may be single or married, or may be an unmarried couple. Non-traditional families are encouraged to apply. Foster families can own or rent their residences.

Foster residences must meet local Home Health & Fire Codes.


How do I sign up for pre-service training?

To access information about pre-service training in this region and in other areas of New Hampshire, go to the Granite State College website: http://etp.granite.edu/. This will bring up a web page describing the training modules. There is a section for “upcoming classes.” All foster parents must take the required FACES classes in order to be a foster parent. FACES classes include an orientation into foster care, regulations or rules of fostering, and other classes on important subjects such as the effects of trauma, experiencing grief and loss, lifelong connections, and promoting positive behavior. There is a total of 7 classes.   *There is no cost for the training sessions or for the homestudy. 

 

What will CFS expect of me when I am a licensed foster parent?

When a foster parent is licensed with CFS, they receive their foster parent handbook that outlines the expectations and services in detail. CFS foster parents are expected to complete a daily note regarding their foster child, to actively participate in the child’s treatment planning, and work cooperatively with the child’s treatment team and family of origin. Foster parents will respect biological parents’ wishes and legal authority, will provide transportation to medical, dental, educational appointments/visits, and will treat the child in the home as they would any other family member.

 

What is a home study, and what does it entail?

Ultimately, a home study is a placement document. New Hampshire utilizes a home study process entitled SAFE, which stands for Structured Analysis Family Evaluation. SAFE is a home study methodology that allows child welfare agencies to effectively evaluate prospective families for foster and adoptive placements. (www.safehomestudy.org)

The home study is a step-by-step process that includes gathering information, several home visits, and completion of questionnaires by potential foster parents.

 

Do I get compensation?

Foster parents are reimbursed for the service they provide to foster children. Rates are based on the age and needs of the child, and it is not considered taxable income, but rather a reimbursement of expenses.

 

What kind of supports will I receive?

When a foster parent is licensed through CFS, the family receives an array of services upon placement of a child in their home. A case manager is assigned to help support the child and family with needs that may arise (ex: setting up childcare, connecting to community resources, enrolling children into mental health treatment, etc.). The supports and services are tailored to meet the needs of each specific family. Depending on the needs of each family, the family may receive support from a family therapist, a parent aide for supervised visitation, and parental education, or a case worker to help older youth with independent living skills, school advocacy, job searching, etc. Additionally, CFS can provide respite for families and children when needed. Each foster parent has access to CFS 24/7 on-call services and the CFS foster care recruiter is available for on-going training and support when needed.

 

Author, Katie Cassidy, Child and Family Services of NH

KEY FACTS FOSTER CARE

Foster Care Recruitment & Retention program 

 

Contact:  Katie Cassidy, foster care specialist:  603-801-4108, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Areas served:  Statewide

 

Interested in fostering but need more info?  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.