Frequently Asked Questions About Foster Care

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1. Do I have to have a license in order to be a foster parent?
Yes. NH Statutes require a license for all individuals who care for unrelated children.

2. How long does it take to become a foster parent?
All licensing requirements must be met before a license is issued. Because of the time necessary to meet all of the requirements, including various inspections, and the necessary training, it typically takes sixty (60) days or more to become a licensed foster care provider.

3. What kind of training is required to become a foster parent?
DCYF provides a comprehensive 21-hour training course called FACES (Foster and Adoptive Care Essentials) for new foster parents. On-going in-service training is provided for licensed foster parents.

4. I was trained as a foster parent in another state. Do I also have to be trained in NH?
Credit may be allowed for previous trainings received in another state, however, you must meet NH's licensing requirements and training competencies.

5. How old do I have to be to become a foster parent?
At the time of initial placement of a child, at least one foster parent must be 21 years of age.

6. Can I be a foster parent if I work?
Yes, you may work outside your home. The child's social worker will assist you in locating and arranging payment for a licensed childcare provider for a child in your care.

7. Do I need to own my home?
No, it is not necessary to own your own home, however, every residence must meet local town and city ordinances, including a fire and health inspection of the dwelling.

8. Are foster parents paid to care for a child?
Foster parents are reimbursed at a set rate for care and supervision of a child. The Internal Revenue Service does not consider foster care payments income for purposes of taxation. Rates are reviewed annually.

9. Can I choose the gender and age of a child?
You and the foster care worker will determine the best possible child match for your family which includes the gender and age of the child.

10. Can I have more than one child placed in my home?
In general, yes, but the total number of children residing in the home cannot exceed six. This includes relatives, birth or adopted children, and children in foster care. In the Permanency Solutions program, however, due to the nature and the needs of the children we serve, only ONE child may be placed, with the exception of sibling groups or where there is a waiver.

11. Who pays for a foster child's medical expenses?
Foster parents are not responsible for a child's medical expenses. Children in care are usually eligible for Medicaid that covers all medical, mental, and dental health needs. A child may also be covered under his or her family's health insurance plan.

12. Will the child go to the same school as my children?
In most situations, children will attend the same public school as your own children. However, depending on the child's educational needs, a child may attend another school.

13. Are children in foster care ever adopted?
While the primary goal of foster care is reunification of the child with his or her family, some children cannot return home. When this happens, the agency will develop a permanent plan for the child that may include adoption.