Thousands of Kansas children and teens have experienced abuse and neglect, and they need your compassion and guidance to help them through this difficult time in their lives. Fostering gives you the opportunity to teach life skills, give support and will instill a profound sense of purpose in your life.
Becoming a foster parent is a big decision and it’s no surprise that families have a lot of questions along the way. We have identified some of the most common questions that are asked, and we will address a few different topics in a three-part blog series. To get started, we’ll answer some of the most questions about the process to become a foster parent.
Q: Do I qualify to become a foster or adoptive parent?
A: People from all types of backgrounds can become a foster or adoptive parent in Kansas. Requirements for fostering or adopting a child who is in state custody and served by KVC include:
- Pass three background checks
- Complete 30-hours of free training
- Have stable housing, reliable transportation & meet income guidelines (in-home daycares, trampolines, and government assistance are not allowed)
- Most importantly, be able to provide a stable, loving home for a child in need
Click here to review all licensing requirements.
Q: I am interested in becoming a foster or parent. What do I need to do first?
A: Your first step is to complete the foster/adoptive parent training called TIPS-MAPP (Trauma Informed Partnering For Safety And Permanence- Model Approach To Partnerships In Parenting). This is a free, 30-hour pre-service training designed to build the strengths and skills needed for parenting abused and neglected children who may have behavioral, emotional, physical, or educational challenges. All adults residing in the home (age 18 years and older) who will participate in the parenting and care of children are required to take TIPS-MAPP together. If you have biological children in your home, they do not need to attend the meetings, however, they may be invited to attend a class. Sign up for a class in your area by contacting a Community Resource Specialist.
After the training is completed, you will be assigned a Family Service Coordinator (FSC) who will visit your home to do a walk-through and complete the licensing process with you. Once that is completed and you receive your license, you will be eligible to receive your first placement of a child in foster care.
Q: If I have pets, can I still become a foster or adoptive parent?
A: Yes, as long as all the pets in the home are up to date on their vet records. Pittbulls, exotic and poisonous animals are not allowed.
Q: What is respite care?
A: Respite care is when a child in foster care stays with another licensed foster parent for a short term stay. Several examples of when respite care may be used are when a foster family is unable to take a child on vacation out of state or if the foster family has an emergency.
Q: How do I become an emergency placement home?
A: An emergency placement home is a home that can take a child who is in Police Protective Custody for up to 72 business hours. To become an emergency placement home, fill out the Protective Home Application on The Global Orphan Project’s website.
Q: I was in foster care when I was younger. Can I become a foster parent?
A: Absolutely! Anyone can be a foster parent who meets the required guidelines.
Q: I completed foster care licensing years ago. Do I need to go through the training again?
A: If you completed the TIPS-MAPP training more than 5 years ago and never had a child placed with you would need to complete the training again. If you did have a child placed with you, or if you took the training less than 5 years ago but never took a placement, you would be encouraged to take a refresher course of the TIPS-MAPP classes. Contact your local Community Resource Specialist for more details.
Q: I have a minor crime on my record from years ago. Can I still foster?
A: That is case specific and depends on the crime. No crimes involving a person or certain felony convictions can be on your record if you wish to foster.
Q: I really want to adopt a baby. Is this possible through a foster care agency?
A: Currently, we are not accepting adopt only families who wish to adopt a baby. This is because the children already legally free for adoption are older children. In order to be considered as an “adopt only” family with KVC, a family must be willing to commit to the children who are currently awaiting adoption. These children include:
- Children over the age of 8
- Children who are part of a sibling group
- Children who have moderate/sever physical, medical, emotional, behavioral and or educational needs
Q: I am only interested in fostering with the goal of reuniting children safely with their birth family. Will that stop me from becoming a foster parent?
A: It has always been KVC’s goal to safely reintegrate every child with their family. Because of the teamwork between foster families, biological families and KVC workers, we are able to safely reintegrate 65 percent of children removed from their homes.
If you have questions about the training to become a foster or adoptive parent, read the second article in our three-part blog series: Becoming a Foster Parent: Questions About the Training
Ever wondered what you need to look for when choosing a foster care agency? This free eBook is the ultimate resource for finding the best agency to support you in your foster parenting journey. Click the image to download it now!