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CHANGE A LIFE foster a child

423.755.2725 partnershipfca.com


A Child Needs Your Help Some children experience situations that no child should have to face. Neglect. Abuse. Abandonment. These circumstances can often affect the child’s future success and happiness. A safe home and a responsible caregiver can assist each child to develop positive social, educational and emotional skills and also discover their strengths and potential for future success. You can be the security that a child needs to feel safe. You can have the opportunity to instill confidence and resiliency in a child. Change a life. Foster a child.

Who we are

The Partnership for Families, Children and Adults is a comprehensive non-profit human services agency offering programs that empower vulnerable individuals to succeed. The Partnership’s Foster Family program ensures the safety and well being of youth by providing safe homes for children who have been abused or neglected and are unable to live in their homes. The Partnership staff maintains a close relationship with the foster family. The staff provides ongoing support, regular interaction with foster families and 24/7 emergency response.

Our mission Partnership is a community impact organization whose mission is to strengthen families and individuals of all ages. Our services provide benefits through an effective array of critical services and collaborative partnerships that continually evolve to meet community needs.

The Partnership Promise We are dedicated to giving abused and neglected children love and opportunities. We hold ourselves and the families we accept to a higher standard of excellence. This is reflected in all the programs and services of Partnership’s Foster Care Program. The advantages of the Partnership’s foster care program include: 1.) A child in your home to nurture and love 2.) Free medical care for your foster child 3.) Regular contact with a Multi Disciplinary Team for support and to assist with any foster child issues 4.) Ongoing training to assist you in dealing with the special needs of foster children 5.) Participation in foster parent support groups - you are not left to cope on your own 6.) Generous stipend to help cover the expense of raising a foster child 7.) Each child is approached with trauma informed care and practices 8.) The satisfaction of making a difference in a child’s life


Foster Care Setting Certified foster parents receive ongoing support and training. Foster families can specify the gender and age range of a child that best fits with their family structure, parenting preferences and experience. Foster parents are members of their foster child team. Foster parents’ observations and knowledge of a foster child in their home can be helpful when identifying services that best meet the child’s needs.

There are different types of foster care: 1

Family Foster Care

2 Emergency Foster Care 3 Respite Foster Care

4 Independent Living Program 54 Therapeutic Foster Care 3

Family Foster Care (Level I)

Family foster parents provide care to children who do not have serious emotional and behavioral concerns and are able to be cared for in a loving and stable family environment with support from Partnership staff.

Emergency Foster Care

Emergency foster care is often referred to as Family Shelter Care. Families providing shelter care are needed to help children feel safe in a crisis. Homes for these children are needed with little advance notice, after hours or on weekends. Placements are typically a few days, but may last longer.

Respite Foster Care

Families and individuals who can volunteer for just a few hours, a day, or longer, to offer foster parents a break, are greatly valued. Respite care providers have an opportunity to share positive experiences with local kids.

Independent Living Program

The Partnership Independent Living Program is designed to assist youth in foster care to become independent adults. This program is geared toward youth over the age of 14.

Therapeutic Foster Care (Level II)

Therapeutic Foster Care is an approach that caters to the physical, emotional and social needs of children and youth in a supportive family setting until the natural family can be reunited or a permanent placement through adoption can be arranged. The foster household is viewed as the primary treatment setting, and the foster parents are trained and supported to implement the goals outlined in the child’s treatment plan.


Steps to Become a Foster Parent 1 Learn about Program Foster parents must be at least 21 years of age, demonstrating good decision making skills. Individuals should be open to accept youth for who they are and to comfortably assimilate them into the family environment without disruption. Foster parents have the opportunity to serve as role models for youth, displaying character values and ethical standards instrumental to the well-being of the children. Flexibility is essential. Some youth have changing needs and foster parents should be comfortable adapting. Initiative to accept and support a youth’s relationship with the biological parent or guardian is also important. A successful foster parent will help youth and their biological family attain goals on the permanency plan. To learn more about the foster care program, please contact Partnership staff at 423.755.2725.

Myth Foster parents must be wealthy individuals.

Myth Foster parents must be married.

Truth The foster family’s income must be stable and sufficient to support the foster family. A generous stipend is provided to help care for each child.

Truth Foster parents can be single or married.

2 Make the Decision

Ask yourself: Do we enjoy parenting? Can our family provide love and support for youth of varying backgrounds? Does everyone in our family agree that foster parenting is right for us? Will we have support from our friends and family in our decision? Is there sufficient space in our home? Would a specific age group or gender work best with our family?


Steps to Become a Foster Parent 3 Complete an Application

Background check The Partnership for Families, Children and Adults ensures the safety of youth placed in foster care by taking precautionary steps to screen individuals who apply to care for children. Once you have decided to become a foster parent, you will complete an application form and submit it to Partnership staff. All adults in the household where the child would be living must consent to a background check. A prior criminal record will not necessarily disqualify a person from being a foster parent. However, those with a history of habitual criminal activity will not be approved. All applicants will also be checked against the Sexual Offender Registry.

Other adults living in the home:

Must be at least 21 years of age, may be single or married Must complete PATH training if the individual will have regular day to day access to the child including providing transportation, discipline or other support

Health screening

Partnership verifies that foster parents and other household members are free from serious communicable disease. A written statement of health from a physician or nurse practitioner must be provided for each person residing in the foster home attesting to the general health of each individual. The statement should address each applicant’s abillity to carry out the duties of a foster parent, as well as whether the household members are free from serious communicable disease. The statement should be based on a recent examination of each family member (within the last six months) and should also include any limitations of the foster parent due to illness and/or physical handicap. A statement of medical health of all household members will be required on an annual basis, or if there is any question as to a health problem which might adversely impact a foster child.


Steps to Become a Foster Parent 4 Attend PATH Training Foster parents will attend 23 hours of initial PATH (Parents as Tender Healers) training to ensure that they are prepared with the knowledge and skills necessary to care for youth in their home. An additional 15 hours of in-service training is required for all foster parents each year. The Partnership staff is available 24/7 to provide support for foster parents and youth. Continuous training and additional support from other foster parents is also offered.

5 Homestudy Partnership staff will ensure that the home environment is appropriate for a foster child. The home will be inspected for sanitary conditions, repair of home, hazards and safety. Homes must be equipped with a working smoke detector, fire extinguisher and telephone. Sufficient space should also be provided for a child to live comfortably and store their personal belongings.

Sleeping Arrangement Guidelines

Youth of the same gender may share bedrooms, but not beds (bunk beds are acceptable) No more than two children can share a bedroom unless granted permission by Partnership staff Youth cannot share beds with foster parents except when sick or under emotional distress Roll-away beds and/or fold out couches located in main living areas are not acceptable sleeping arrangements on a consistent basis

Religion

Foster parents should respect the religious preference of the birth family and provide opportunities for the foster child to have religious experiences that do not conflict with their religion. If possible, youth should attend their own church, synagogue or other place of worship.

Financial Assistance

Foster families receive a generous stipend to assist in giving the highest standard of care to youth. The foster family’s income still must be stable and sufficient before the reimbursement rate. Each foster family must submit a financial statement on an annual basis or if any major change affects the family’s financial stability. If both parents are employed outside of the home, or if a foster parent is single, a plan must be submitted for the care of the youth after school and while on school breaks.


Steps to Become a Foster Parent 6 Welcome a Child into Your Home Working together with Partnership staff, you will determine what children you can best care for. Before you welcome a child into your home, you will receive information about the child to help you decide if the placement is right for you.

7 Supervision When a child is placed in your home, Partnership staff will continue to provide information to better understand and meet the needs of the child. Partnership staff meets with you and the child at least once a month. Staff will conduct home visits on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.

CHANGE A LIFE

For more information, please contact Partnership Youth Services at 423.755.2725.


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Foster Care Informational Guide