Interested in Becoming a Foster Parent?

More information about the process to become foster parents, what to expect in the process and our most frequently asked questions is below.

In Virginia, there are more than 6,000 children in foster care on any given day. These children live in our communities and are in need of safe, stable, and nurturing foster homes. Foster children need you to help make a difference in their lives!

Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent

In order to become a licensed foster parent in Virginia, there are various qualifications and requirements to start the process. HumanKind will guide you through the steps to becoming a foster parent, which include:

  • Orientation & Mutual Assessment Meeting: HumanKind agency representatives provide an information session to explain the requirements and answer questions related to becoming a foster parent.
  • Home Study & Paperwork: After pre-service training is completed, an assessment of a parent’s ability to provide a safe and nurturing family environment for a child is conducted and a written document is completed that covers life experiences, personal relationships, finances, medical history and criminal background checks
  • Pre-service Training: 16 hours of required training is offered to prepare parents to understand the needs of children in foster care, understand the tools and philosophies that guide foster parenting and explore thoughts, feelings and behaviors around each training topic.

 

  • CPR & First Aid/Medication Management Training: Being CPR and First Aid certified is important for working with kids of all ages. All foster parents are required to complete CPR & First Aid training, which can be done online. Additionally, foster parents will receive Medication Management as part of their foster parent training course.
  • Approval: Once all the requirements have been met, a family’s home study is approved and sent to local departments of social services for consideration of children needing foster care placements.
  • Attend monthly trainings/support groups: We want our foster parents to continue learning and developing skills to better care for the children in their homes. All foster parents are required to attend 12 hours of foster parent training a year to maintain their license.
Now you know the process – so what’s next?

Sign up for our next Virtual Info Session or complete the Foster Care Parent Interest Form online.

Virtual Info Session for Foster Parents

Foster Care Parent Interest Form

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Foster Care?

Foster care is a temporary living situation for children who have experienced possible abuse and neglect. The length of time a child spends in foster care varies depending on the family’s circumstances and the services available to help children return safely home. There are currently over 6,000 children in foster care in Virginia.

HumanKind’s Treatment Foster Care Program utilizes foster parents with specialized training to care for children, teens, and sibling groups who have significant emotional and/or physical challenges, have often been in the foster care system for many years and experienced multiple placements. Children and youth are referred to Humankind from the Virginia department of social services because their needs cannot be met at the state department.

Why become a foster parent?

Your choice to become a foster parent will be the most rewarding and sometimes challenging decision you make to improve the lives of our children. As a foster parent, you will use your life experiences to help a child experience a safe and stable family setting, develop community connections and transition to a permanent family placement.

What are the requirements to become a foster parent with HumanKind?

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • May be married, single or divorced
  • Must have space in your home and heart for additional children
  • Must have a stable income sufficient to provide for your family
  • Must have no founded child abuse and/or neglect complaints
  • Must have no felonies of any kind or committed a barrier crime
  • Must have a Good driving record
  • Your home must meet basic requirements
  • You must be willing to work as a member of a team in meeting the needs of children placed in your care
How to Become a Foster Parent

In order to become a licensed foster parent in Virginia, there are various qualifications and requirements to start the process. HumanKind  will guide you through the steps to becoming a foster parent, which include:

  1. Orientation & Mutual Assessment Meeting: HumanKind agency representatives provide an information session to explain the requirements and answer questions related to becoming a foster parent.
  2. Home Study & Paperwork: After pre-service training is completed, an assessment of a parent’s ability to provide a safe and nurturing family environment for a child is conducted and a written document is completed that covers life experiences, personal relationships, finances, medical history and criminal background checks
  3. CPR & First Aid/Medication Management  Training: All foster parents are required to complete CPR & First Aid training, which can be done online. Additionally, foster parents will receive Medication Management as part of their foster parent training course.
  4. Pre-service Training: 16 hours of required training is offered to prepare parents to understand the needs of children in foster care, the tools and philosophies that guide foster parenting and explore thoughts, feelings and behaviors around each training topic.
  5. Approval: Once all the requirements have been met, a family’s home study is approved and sent to local departments of social services for consideration of children needing foster care placements.
  6. Attend monthly trainings: We want our foster parents to continue learning and developing skills to better care for the children in their homes. All foster parents are required to attend 12 hours of foster parent training a year to maintain their license.
What are the children like who need treatment foster care?

Typically, they are children who have experienced abuse and neglect.  They often have emotional and/or behavioral problems. The symptoms of these needs can vary from bedwetting to physical and emotional aggression.  Most have at least one DSM-IV diagnosis such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality, oppositional defiant, and/or ADHD. Typical and common services to assist children include counseling, skill-building, and/or psychiatric services. Because of this, the child is likely to have multiple appointments on a weekly basis. 

Do I have a choice about the type of children placed in my home?

Yes, you will always be given the choice of the type of child to be placed in your home.  This may include such things as age, gender, and presenting problems or behaviors such as those discussed above.  Don’t be afraid to say no to a possible placement. It is in everyone’s best interest to be honest about your concerns and preferences.

How much will I get paid?

Foster parent stipend is regulated by the VEMAT score.  It can be confusing initially but something that will be discussed during orientation.

What do I need to do and how long does it take to become a foster parent?

The approval process takes approximately 8 – 12 weeks. For certification as a treatment foster parent with HumanKind, please contact Jamie Creasy at 4345.444.0059 or Jcreasy@humankind.org.

How long does it take to get a child placed in my home and how long will they stay?

This varies. It may take longer to place a child in your home depending on the age range, gender, number of children, and behaviors you are equipped to support in your home. The length of stay in your home also depends on a number of factors, such as the permanency plan and treatment goal. This information will be discussed more during the orientation, training, and home visits.

How to get started

Foster parents are greatly needed to place children coming into foster care every day. There is a child or teen right now waiting who needs YOU. Learn more today and complete the Foster Parent Interest Form here online.

For more information, please contact:
Chelsea Flowers | Marketing Recruitment Specialist, Foster Care
Contact now