Considerations & Process

Consider:

The decision to foster is not to be taken lightly. Your family should understand the qualifications, commitments and approval process before submitting applications. You may want to view these Orientation videos if you haven’t already seen them. Summaries of the basics and links to detailed information are provided below. You may also email heather.hudnall@dss.virginia.gov with your questions.

Qualifications:

-Must be at least 18 years of age.

-Good physical and emotional health.

-Safe housing, adequate space and equipment.

-No history of barrier crimes (will open new window).

-Stable financial situation and sufficient income to meet your own family’s needs.

-Skills, attitude and stamina to effectively deal with behaviors and emotions of children and teens.

-A non-punitive attitude and can display empathy / acceptance toward the parents of children in care.

-Accept the uncertain nature of foster care and support the transition of a child back to his / her parents.

-An interest in working as part of a professional team of social workers, doctors, therapists and other resources the child may need.

Commitments

Resource Parents commit to help a child and their family through a difficult period.

Social Services commits to disclosure of all information available at the time of placement to enable Resource Parents to make an informed decision about a particular placement.

Resource Parents commit to the primary goal of reuniting children with their birth family.

Social Services commits to reimburse Resource Parents at the age-appropriate rate set by the Commonwealth of Virginia (a non-taxable stipend for clothing, food and other needs of the child).

For additional information, visit http://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/fc/index.cgi (will open another window)

Approval Process

Complete and submit application forms, including national, state and local criminal history, central registry background checks, DMV record checks, physicals, TB risk assessments, and other required forms for approval (heather.hudnall@dss.virginia.gov to request applications).

Complete pre-service training (Parent Resources for the Information Development and Education (PRIDE) Training). For two parent homes, both parents must attend.

Participate in interviews and home visits (at least 3) conducted by the Family Services Specialists.

At the end of this mutual assessment process, parents have learned about fostering and the agency has learned about the parents. Families who earn the agency’s recommendation and who wish to become Foster Families receive a Certificate of Approval, authorizing them to Foster Parent in Virginia.

For additional information, visit http://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/fc/index.cgi (will open another window)