Steps To Becoming A Foster Parent
Becoming a Foster Parent
1. Complete Foster Parent Application and Other Required Forms
All applications and forms can be found under "Paperwork to Begin".
2. Training Required by NCDHHS
30 hours of pre service training (TIPS-MAPP, Deciding Together, etc.) plus an additional 10 hours for therapeutic training + CPR/FA/Universal precautions within the first 30 days of licensure before any children are placed.
20 hours of ongoing continuous education is required for re-licensure every two years. At Frank Adoption Center, we suggest foster parents complete at least 10 hours per year, vs. waiting to get all their required training at the last minute. That 20 hours can include (The CPR/First Aid certification is in accordance with American Red Cross or American Heart Association (online training does not count):
- Infant, Child, and Adult CPR
- First Aid
- Universal precautions recertification
- Medication Administration Training
- Universal Precautions
- Shared Parenting
Foster parents are responsible for signing up for the training that best fits their schedule and then providing their licensing social worker with the CPR/First Aid certification card. Training must be completed in an accredited program in accordance with the American Red Cross or American Heart Association. If a foster parent already possesses current CPR/First Aid training through their employers, etc., then the foster parents should provide a copy of their certification card to the licensing social worker to be kept in the foster home licensing file.
In addition to traditional classroom training, you may complete webinars, online training, watch approved videos, or read approved books. If you have specific training, webinars, etc. you are interested in completing, let your social worker know and we would be happy to discuss. Topics can include: Child and Family Team meetings, Workshops, Support Groups, Literature & Videos, Trainings, and Counseling sessions with the child.
TIPS-MAPP stands for the Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting and is the state mandated pre-service parent training. This is a 30-hour training that must be attended by all pre-service foster parents and is intended to help pre-service foster parents understand the impact of abuse and neglect on children and the needs of these children; identify the skills necessary to be a successful adoptive parent of a foster child(ren); and determine whether adopting a foster child(ren) is a good fit for you and your family. MAPP Training is offered three or four times a year on 10 weekday evenings for 3 hours each evening. You must be available to attend all ten sessions as DCF requires that you miss no more than one session in order to graduate and be able to adopt a foster child.
Additional Training required by FAC
- Diversity and Inclusion Training
- LGBTQIA- “How to Not Suck for Your Queer Foster Kid”
Ongoing training related to any number of topics specific to the LGBTQ+ community, trauma and mental health care and foster care as a whole, including but not limited to: medical care, sexual health, school advocacy, social supports
3. Completing a Home Study
A home study is a key first step in obtaining your foster license. Not only does it allow us to get to know you better, but it allows you to do the same. We are all going to be working closely together for as long as we are needed in a child’s life - we want to like each other!
There will be several steps to the home study process: interviews with agency staff; visits to your home; background clearances; medical forms to be completed; and more paperwork than you ever thought possible. All of this is meant to ensure you are a safe and healthy option for a child in foster care and that you are as prepared as possible before a child arrives.
FAC will provide you with a full ‘home study packet’ once you are ready to begin, including a list of what is needed on paper and for your home. We will work with you to facilitate background checks and provide any needed forms. Know that your home needs to be safe, not spotless; there is no need to bake cookies as we arrive or make sure your dog is freshly bathed. We’ll take this one step at a time!
There is no cost associated with your home study, with the exception of any background clearance fees or medical co-pays or insurance costs. We will provide you with an estimate of these costs before you begin. Not being able to pay these costs will not be a disqualifier for moving forward with the licensing process.
4. The Matching Process
“The North Carolina General Assembly sets the standard for reimbursement for monthly foster care maintenance payments. The standard is a graduated rate based on the age of the child. The General Assembly adjusts these rates periodically. Funding for payments comes from a combination of federal, state, and county money.” https://fosteringnc.org/faq/#18
The reimbursement rate is based on how long Frank Adoption Center has held our foster care license. For our first year, the reimbursement rate is as follows:
DSS family foster homes, Therapeutic family foster care services, Residential Treatment (Level 2), and payments to licensed providers not participating in cost modeled rates.
After Year 1, Frank Adoption Center will be applying for a cost rate model for administrative reimbursement. Monthly foster care payments are meant to assist in meeting the needs of the child in your home. However, you should not expect that payment to be enough to fully support a child’s care. We have included a number of resources related to payments with regards to foster care, as well as a listing of organizations that work to support foster families in a variety of ways.
For more information about ongoing care (social worker visits; engaging with bio family; expectations for school), reunification or alternative options (guardianship, allowing a child to age out, adoption) please check out Foster Parent Handbook.