This is the first entry in a 6-part series on foster parenting. To view a list of all the videos and blogs available in this series, please click here.
Step 1: Review the Requirements for becoming a foster parent
Minimum requirements to become a foster parent through Arizona Faith and Families:
- At least 21 years of age
- Legal U.S. and Arizona resident
- You may live in an apartment, rented home or home you own
- Must pass a fingerprint-based criminal history records check
- Must be in good mental and physical health
- Must be in agreement with our statement of faith listed here
- Must be a member or regular attender of a local Christian church
Step 2: Attend an Orientation
Orientation is a required step in the foster care licensing process, it is a great place to ask any questions you may have.
During orientation you will learn:
- More about the children in care
- The specific requirements to become a foster or adoptive parent
- The roles and responsibilities of a foster/adoptive parent
- The process to become a foster/adoptive parent
- The support you will receive when you become a foster/adoptive parent
Orientation is available online and can be viewed HERE.
Step 3: Select a Licensing Agency
After you attend Orientation you will have a list of the agencies to look through. It is important to pick an agency that is a good fit for your family. You will spend a lot of time with your licensing agency and they will spend time getting to know your family. You want to choose an agency that you feel comfortable working with.
Your licensing worker will help you understand the role of foster parents, submit the needed documents for your license, write your home study and help you with your home safety evaluation. They will assist you not only in the licensing process, but once you are licensed, they will continue to work with you and conduct monthly visits.
At Arizona Faith and Families, we seek to recruit foster and adoptive parents from within the Christian church, to train and license them within a biblical world view, and to equip them to serve their Savior, home, church, and community. Arizona Faith and Families is committed to a foundation of prayer and biblical training throughout the licensing process.
Step 4: Attend Training
Training will provide you with the tools you will need to parent children who have been neglected and abused. Even if you have previous parenting experience, this training is important because parenting foster children who have been abused and neglected is not the same as parenting children whom you have given birth to. Training also provides you with all the information you need to decide if now is the right time for your family to become licensed for foster care or certified to adopt.
You will spend a total of 30 hours in training, and if married, you and your spouse must attend the same training. For a list of our upcoming training sessions please click here.
Step 5: Family Home Study and Home Safety Evaluation
Your licensing worker will visit your home and spend time with you and your family collecting information for what is called a “home study”. The purpose of the home study is to determine your ability to serve as a foster parent and your willingness to comply with foster care requirements. Additionally, the agency will request a state inspection of your home. You can find out basic home inspection information here.
During the home study process, your licensing worker will:
- Interview you and all the members of your household
- Ensure that you are physically, mentally and emotionally capable of caring for children
- Obtain and verify at least five personal references
- Verify your financial condition
- Verify that your apartment or house is a safe environment for children
- Verify that you have passed fingerprint clearance, criminal history, and DCS records checks
Step 6: Placement
Once you are a licensed foster parent, your agency will work with you and DCS to place a child in your home.
You will be licensed to take up to two children your first year (subject to change only if accommodating a sibling group).
After placement, your agency will work closely with your family to help you adjust to life as a foster parent. This exciting and rewarding process takes approximately 3-6 months to complete.
Click here to view the next part of this series which will explore the topic of saying goodbye to our foster children and why we decide to foster.
This blog entry is part of a 6-part series on foster parenting. To view a list of all the videos and blogs available in this series, please click here.
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