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Answers to 5 Common Questions About Foster Parenting

Mom with teen - answers to 5 common questions about foster parenting foster care kansas topeka kvc

Have questions about foster parenting? You’re in the right place! Here are answers to 5 questions we frequently receive from people who want to help children in foster care.

I am interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent. What do I need to do first? 

Your first step is to contact us! KVC Kansas is a nonprofit organization that cares for all of the children in Eastern Kansas in foster care – that’s about 3,800 children and teens on any given day. When you fill out our short form, we will notify the foster parent recruiter for your county. She will reach out to you by phone and email within 24 hours to help you start your journey.

After that, the next step is to sign up for the required foster/adoptive parent training class called TIPS-MAPP. This long acronym stands for Trauma-Informed Partnering For Safety and Permanence – Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting. This is a free, 30-hour training designed to build the strengths and skills needed for parenting abused and neglected children who may have behavioral, emotional, physical, or educational challenges. The class is typically held once a week for 3 hours and takes 10 weeks to complete, although the state has recently started experimenting with offering it in just two weekends. All adults residing in your 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 children in your home, they do not need to attend the meetings, however, they may be invited to attend a class. New classes start every month throughout the state – sign up for one in your area by contacting us today.

After you complete training, we will assign you a KVC Family Service Coordinator who will visit your home to do a walk-through and complete the licensing process with you. Once you receive your foster parenting license, you will be able to welcome a child in foster care into your home.

How Long Does a Foster Family Care for a Child in Foster Care?

The amount of time a foster family cares for a child in foster care varies from a few days to a couple years. On average, we safely reunite most children with their families within 12 months, and thus the child’s time in foster care is less than one year. More than half of children who enter foster care are safely reunited with their families. If reunification is not possible due to safety concerns, we will look for an adoptive family to provide continued care, love and stability for the child. It is common for children to be adopted by their foster parents because they have bonded, but every child’s situation is different.

Can I foster children and work full time?

Yes, many foster parents successfully work full-time jobs while caring for children and teens in need. If you are caring for a younger child, the Kansas Department for Children and Families may cover a daily rate to pre-approved daycares. Contact your Family Service Coordinator for a list of approved daycares in your area.

Can I choose which children I care for?

Yes! Foster parents can specify the age, gender and number of children they are willing to care for and if they are able to care for a child with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities or other special needs. We call you and tell you more about the child’s needs, and you have the opportunity to decide whether you can provide care for that child.

How much does it cost to be a foster parent?

The foster parent training and licensing process is provided at no cost to foster parents. While foster parents volunteer their time to care for a child in foster care, KVC provides a small daily subsidy to support the needs of each child, paid monthly through direct deposit. Each child receives a medical card when they enter foster care, and some children are also covered under their family’s private insurance. Clothing allowances for all children and childcare for those qualifying are also important benefits. Your KVC care manager will assist as able with items such as back-to-school supplies, holiday & birthday gifts as well as other individual needs.

Have more questions? Download this free comprehensive guide that covers even more frequently asked questions!

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