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Are You Ready to Foster?

ready to foster

Becoming a foster parent is a big decision. Here is a list of things to keep in mind while deciding if fostering is right for you:

  • Everyone in your home must complete background checks.

In order to become a foster parent or to work with children in foster care, everyone in your home ages 10 and older must pass Child Abuse and Neglect Information System (CANIS), Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), and fingerprint background checks. This is to ensure the safety of every child placed in your care.

  • There is enough bedroom space in your home to foster a child.

It’s important for every youth in foster care to have a safe place with adequate space. Every child in foster care must have a bed of their own.  If approved, they can share a bedroom with another child of the same gender who is an age mate, but no one over the age of 18.

  • You are in good physical, mental and emotional health.

Being a parent can be demanding. When you add court dates, appointments and meetings involved with foster care to your schedule, parenting can become even more demanding. You must be healthy and able to provide stability as you care for a child who may have experienced trauma.

  • You have adequate income to meet your family’s needs.

Foster families must have sufficient income to meet their family’s needs and to provide for a child for the first 30 days. The daily reimbursement provided for the care of a children in foster care is intended to assist your family in providing for their needs.

  • Your home is a safe place.

Your home must be safe and hazard-free.  A worker will come to your home and conduct a safety inspection.  Some examples of things they will look for are working smoke detectors in every sleeping room and on each level, carbon monoxide detectors and locked storage for medications, guns and other weapons.

  • You understand there are no “perfect children.”

The myth of the “perfect child” is just that — a myth.  Every child has strengths and needs, including children in foster care.  Most children in foster care have experienced abuse, neglect or other family challenges. Some were born with drugs in their systems and others have developmental, medical, and emotional needs.  Many children are afraid to trust and find it difficult to form new attachments.

  • This is a family decision.

Whenever there is a change in a family, it affects everyone.  It’s important to discuss the decision to foster with everyone in the family.  Adding a new family member will change the dynamics of your family, your schedule and your resources.  It’s imperative to know your own family and make an informed decision about the ages and special needs of children you can have placed in your home.

  • We are willing to learn more.

Every prospective foster parent will complete 30-hours of free training called TIPS-MAPP which stands for Trauma-Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence – Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting.  The program guides participants through carefully designed activities so that parents see firsthand the challenges of fostering.  It also helps parents decide if their expectations and abilities match the realities of fostering.

Click here to learn more about how to become a foster parent in Kansas!