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Old 10-24-2019, 06:32 AM
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Default Becoming foster parents?

So the lovely Mrs_Bob and I are having our first interview to see if we can become foster parents. The interview is an in-house inspection/visit by a state licensed agency and will be happing late this morning.

I gather this process takes months to complete? 3 to 6 months. Background checks, dog vaccinations, car registration & proof of insurance, valid driver's licenses, income verification, birth certificate copies, they even want a well water inspection.

We shall see how it goes.

How many here are familiar with this? Either as a former foster kid or a foster parent?
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

Good luck with it Bob.
I was never a foster parent, but was in the big sister program with a young girl many years ago.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

Preliminary meeting went very well, lasted about 2 hours including the property walk through. It was not a complete inspection but rather just a walk through to insure we had the facilities we claimed. So nobody dug into the cabinets to look snoop. Most of the time was spent talking, asking questions, etc.

We move forward with background checks and fingerprinting on Saturday.

There will be classes that we take, which, if I understand the schedule, will be completed before Thanksgiving. We also learn basic first aid, CPR, etc.

NOT SURE HOW IT WORKS IN OTHER STATES but apparently foster care in Indiana is typically a 3 to 12 month commitment per child. The child/children come to you, typically after an emergency/tragedy and may arrive any time of the day, including the middle of the night. You typically have the child/children for about 3 months because that is the basic amount of time the state takes to set up court dates for custody, to find relatives that the child/children can move in with permanently, to do background checks on the relatives, etc.

Many fosters are children of incarcerated criminals, children of accident victims who end up in long term hospital care, orphans due to accidents, etc. Many are also abuse victims, kids who are raised in drug houses, etc.

The classes we will be taking include some rudimentary/basic psychological counseling so we can hopefully spot some behavioral cues that might indicate unknown problems, etc.

Anyway we are going to proceed forward to the next steps.
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

Not sure on the process in the states but up here we had to go through a 10 session training thing as well as all of the things you mentioned.

I will say that you guys better be prepared for anything. It's not as bad if you get a child young enough without medical problems. But a lot of the kids in the foster care system are born addicted to drugs or have fetal alcohol syndrome or other issues.

Also be prepared for the constant home visits from workers. Bringing kids to appointments. Specialists. Doctors. Optical appointments. Dental appointments. You WILL have workers in your home on a regular basis. More often if they have medical or behavioral issues. If there's biological family still involved, there will be visits that will affect your plans and schedules. There's a lot of frustrations as well even with dealing with the workers. You will have to accept that you are raising a child that isn't yours and most decisions will have to be approved by the agency. Even things like family vacations and travel plans will require more planning as you have to get approval for everything. It takes a lot of patience and understanding.

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Old 10-25-2019, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

One more thing, you won't always agree with the agency's decision. You could have a child in your home that you have raised and loved for years and without warning that child be removed from your home and you never see them again. That's been the hardest part of fostering for me. Knowing that we provided the best loving home that we could for a child then losing that child. It's actually worse than mourning the loss of a loved one. When a loved one dies, you know they aren't coming back. When a child leaves your home, you know that they are out there somewhere and you may never see them again. The child will be out there and no matter how much you want to still be involved, you may never have that chance.

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Old 10-25-2019, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernRedneck View Post
Not sure on the process in the states but up here we had to go through a 10 session training thing as well as all of the things you mentioned.

I will say that you guys better be prepared for anything. It's not as bad if you get a child young enough without medical problems. But a lot of the kids in the foster care system are born addicted to drugs or have fetal alcohol syndrome or other issues.

Also be prepared for the constant home visits from workers. Bringing kids to appointments. Specialists. Doctors. Optical appointments. Dental appointments. You WILL have workers in your home on a regular basis. More often if they have medical or behavioral issues. If there's biological family still involved, there will be visits that will affect your plans and schedules. There's a lot of frustrations as well even with dealing with the workers. You will have to accept that you are raising a child that isn't yours and most decisions will have to be approved by the agency. Even things like family vacations and travel plans will require more planning as you have to get approval for everything. It takes a lot of patience and understanding.

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Originally Posted by NorthernRedneck View Post
One more thing, you won't always agree with the agency's decision. You could have a child in your home that you have raised and loved for years and without warning that child be removed from your home and you never see them again. That's been the hardest part of fostering for me. Knowing that we provided the best loving home that we could for a child then losing that child. It's actually worse than mourning the loss of a loved one. When a loved one dies, you know they aren't coming back. When a child leaves your home, you know that they are out there somewhere and you may never see them again. The child will be out there and no matter how much you want to still be involved, you may never have that chance.
We are going to be going through several, but I'm not sure how many training sessions.

Here in Indiana, not even sure how it is in other US states, let alone Canada, we were told that the length of fostering a child is usually about a year. Sometimes it can be a couple or even several years but they explained to us it is typically about 1 year.

As for the visits, the agency we are working with is a private non-profit and we are pretty comfortable with them. They will be making the visits. They also accompany us to the court hearings, etc. They also said that within the first 10 days of getting a child we have to schedule doctor and dentist appointments, and those must occur within the first 30 days. They have other local foster parents, lists of doctors/dentists/specialists etc and claim they will help keep everything on schedule and reasonably streamlined.

We were told to be prepared for a 3 month minimum stay as it takes that long to get a court date scheduled for initial custody hearings. As it was explained to us, the State of Indiana apparently is pretty aggressive about tracking down biological relatives and working to transfer the kids to biological family members, even if they are somewhat distant relations.

Clearly we are clueless on all this other than what we were told so the more info you can give the better!
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Old 10-26-2019, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

That sounds about like what we were told. All the agencies follow similar procedures. I know that up here, the medical and dental stuff gets booked the same as you described. The child is assigned a worker. We have a foster parent worker. And the biological family has a worker.

They preach up here too that they want bio family to step up and care for the kids. Quite often that just isn't possible. Take for example the girl we are adopting. She has two older sisters also in care. Her aunt and uncle tried caring for them for a few years but had issues of their own which eventually led to them giving up on the girls. They went to live with a neighbor who tried for 8 months to care for them but couldn't. So they all came into care after 5 years of trying to make the family option work. The girls were fighting like crazy so they were split up. Even now it's nothing but fighting when they get together. The only family member who is still involved is grandpa. And he only has a 3 hour visit every month.

How it works up here is that when a child comes into care, the agency works with the biological family to attempt to identify a suitable caregiver. Meanwhile all the court proceedings are taking place and after one year, the child is deemed a ward of the state(crown ward up here). Once that happens, the child is typically in the system until they are 18 years old. And any biological family then has to prepare a plan and go before a judge to get the kids back in their care. This doesn't happen often. And if the child has medical or behavioral problems, they just get bounced around from home to home. Some ends up in group homes when they have exhausted all options for a foster home.

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Last edited by NorthernRedneck; 10-26-2019 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 10-26-2019, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

Thanks!

Keep the info coming.

Went today to get our fingerprints taken and submitted. Same place I had my prints taken for my TSA Pre-check. Same place that takes prints for concealed carry licenses too. Not sure why they don't already have multiple sets of mine on file?
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Old 10-27-2019, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

I couldn’t handle the bureaucracy ......... God Bless you Bob!
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Old 10-27-2019, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

It is a lot of bureaucracy but the big picture is those kids who are left to fend for themselves and grow up in the system bounced around from home to home and school to school because their parents made poor choices. They act like idiots and it's the kids who suffer.

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Old 10-27-2019, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

Quote:
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I couldn’t handle the bureaucracy ......... God Bless you Bob!
Exactly and they are likely missing out on a lot of otherwise fine responsible people because of it.
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Old 10-27-2019, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

I understand the bureaucracy part of it being a deterrent but for years prior when there was less bureaucracy and just about anyone could become foster parents, there were a lot more gaps in the level of care these kids received. Lots of mistakes made. People who shouldn't have kids to begin with allowed to care for a stranger's child and quite often the foster parents didn't receive the proper training and couldn't handle the various situations that they encountered with the kids resulting in further abuse to the children. So today because of this, there are many more rules and standards the foster parents have to follow.

Gone are the days when just anyone could walk in and get a foster child. Or walk into an orphanage and point to a kid saying "I want that one" then walking out with a child and never hearing anything from the orphanage again.

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Old 11-01-2019, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernRedneck View Post
I understand the bureaucracy part of it being a deterrent but for years prior when there was less bureaucracy and just about anyone could become foster parents, there were a lot more gaps in the level of care these kids received. Lots of mistakes made. People who shouldn't have kids to begin with allowed to care for a stranger's child and quite often the foster parents didn't receive the proper training and couldn't handle the various situations that they encountered with the kids resulting in further abuse to the children. So today because of this, there are many more rules and standards the foster parents have to follow.

Gone are the days when just anyone could walk in and get a foster child. Or walk into an orphanage and point to a kid saying "I want that one" then walking out with a child and never hearing anything from the orphanage again.

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I don't disagree but the level to which it is now is ridiculous.... and you won't change my opinion.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

It's like everything else. Overregulation. Cover your butt so mistakes of the past don't reoccur.

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Old 11-01-2019, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

We are going to our first class in a couple of hours.

I'm assuming it will be a major reality check? Supposed to last 3 hours. I hope they have donuts and coffee.
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Old 11-01-2019, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

Good luck. The training is eye opening. Most of it is common sense though. We had a mixture of people when we did ours. It's designed to cover a broad range of scenarios. Some couples were fostering. Some were becoming a kinship home. Meaning that the kids are in care but going to stay with family members. But the family members follow the same rules and guidelines as foster parents. And there was a couple that was adopting from a foreign country. As well as a few couples who were adopting locally.

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Old 11-08-2019, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Becoming foster parents?

How's the training going?

I just came across this video from the agency I worked for. I worked with some of the foster parents in it as well as some of the workers.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=...qVt6VNSzQ#menu

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