If you ask Pamela McFadden how she feels about being a part of HumanKind’s Therapeutic Foster Care program (TFC), she’ll tell you she’s learned a lot and gained a family—but she hasn’t always felt that way.
Who are the children you serve?
We serve children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or having no viable caregiver. Children in foster care come from all races, backgrounds, and range in age from newborn to 21 years old. There is a great need for families who are able to serve multiple children in sibling sets.
What is Therapeutic Foster Care?
Therapeutic Foster Care is a mental health service, for children and youth who may be in DSS custody but have higher levels of need for behavioral support. Other children in Treatment care may be voluntarily placed by their families needing additional support, or the service may be court ordered.
Will I receive training and support?
The law requires a certain amount of hours in preparatory training be provided before a person can be licensed as a foster parent in Virginia including Pre-service training, CPR & First Aid training, Medication Management training, and regular monthly trainings. HumanKind offers extensive training and comprehensive support for all of our foster families; you are never on your own. You are part of a village of foster parents and expert staff, and you benefit from an exceptional network of services.
Joining a foster parent support group, such as the Motherhood Collective or the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA), is a good way to get advice and assistance from experienced foster parents as well.
Is there any cost to becoming a foster parent?
There are no agency fees for becoming a foster parent. Some requirements do have associated fees including background checks, fire inspection, driving records, and a physical exam.
Can I foster if I’m single?
Yes. Foster parents can be single, married, divorced or widowed. The Commonwealth of Virginia does not preclude a person from being a foster parent based solely on their culture, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, affectional orientation, or marital/civil union or domestic partnership status. The important thing is their willingness and ability to parent.
How long does the process take?
The whole process generally takes between 8-12 weeks for you to be approved as a foster parent. A child can then be placed with you at any time afterwards.
How many foster children will I have?
This is determined for each family during the licensing process. Capacity of the home is based on multiple factors. However, the number of children in the provider’s home shall not exceed eight (8) children.
What about siblings?
Siblings are placed together whenever possible. However, sometimes it is in the best interest of the children to be separated based on their individual special needs. When appropriate, efforts are made by agencies to continue sibling visits while the children are in foster care.
What if I already have children?
Yes you can foster. When a child is placed into a fostering household in which there are birth children, it’s because in our judgement, they will fit well into that household and family.
Will I be able to adopt my foster child?
The primary goal of foster care is to provide a safe, temporary place for children to live until they can be placed in a permanent home. The majority of children go back home to live with their families. If a child is not able to go back home, he or she may become available for adoption. Since the children have a bond with the foster parents, agencies will give consideration to the foster parents if that is in the best interest of the child to remain with them.
Are there infants or very young children available for adoption?
There are very few infants and toddlers in foster care in need of adoptive homes.
Where do I go to start this process?
Contact us for an information session! HumanKind has 3 locations in the state of Virginia. If you are interested in learning how to become a foster parent, we encourage you to send us an inquiry at TFC@humankind.org.
What do I need to do and how long does it take to become a therapeutic foster parent?
For certification as a foster parent with HumanKind, please contact:
Office: (434) 455-3632
Cell: (434) 444-0059
Ashley Cash, Program Manager
Office: (434) 485-8128
Office: (804) 612-7566
Cell: (434) 238-5682