Becoming a Foster Parent
We know that foster parents are the key to providing quality care for children, and we are working hard to recruit more homes. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, or if you know anyone who is, please contact one of our four licensing and child-placing agencies. Each of the agencies can help you get started by signing you up for an orientation or scheduling you into the next training class.
- 4Kids of South Florida (DBA 4Kids of Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast)
4Kids is a faith-based agency that recruits foster parents through the local church community. It’s training curriculum includes a faith-based component.
- Camelot Community Care
Camelot recruits foster homes from among the general public and does not include a faith-based focus in its training curriculum.
- Place of Hope
Place of Hope is a faith-based, state-licensed child welfare organization providing family-style foster care (emergency and long-term), foster care recruitment and support.
- Mount Bethel Human Services
Mount Bethel is charged by Communities Connected for Kids to recruit, train and license foster homes, particularly among our African American community. It’s training curriculum includes a faith-based component.
How the Process Works
Once you decide you want to be a foster parent, you will begin the approval process. Because the process varies slightly in different areas of the state, some of the steps may also vary.
The first step in some areas is an orientation meeting for prospective foster or adoptive parents. At this meeting the prospective parents may meet experienced adoptive or foster parents and one or more counselors who will provide an overview of the whole process, timeframes involved and the training schedule.
The FDLE/FBI background screening should be done after orientation and before training if possible.
Creating And Retaining Excellence (C.A.R.E.) is a 21-hour training and preparation course that both foster and adoptive parents are required to successfully complete. The course can be taken in seven weeks or three weekends. Furthermore, C.A.R.E. training classes offered by 4Kids, Place of Hope & Mount Bethel incorporate a faith-based approach. All training classes are usually scheduled at night or on the weekends. The purpose of the training is for parents to assess themselves and their family, and to develop a comprehensive understanding of foster-parenting issues. The next step after completing the course is a home study.
A home study includes the following parts:
- You will be required to provide information about your health.
- Background checks at the local, state and federal level will be conducted, including having your fingerprints screened at the federal level.
- References will be requested from your employer, school officials if you have children in school and character references from individuals who have known you and your family.
- The counselor will visit your home one or more times to complete the home study.
All information is gathered into a home study packet and sent for approval to a licensing specialist. The licensing specialist will keep in touch with you throughout the licensing process. The entire process to become licensed takes about three months.