Our commitment to smaller caseloads allows our staff to provide extra support to our foster families. Each young person is assigned to a caseworker who helps to answer questions, solve problems, and provide guidance to both the child and his or her foster parents. Foster parents receive special training on attachment theory principles to help promote healing for the foster youth in their care. While in our Foster Care program, we strive toward achieving permanency for every young person—whether it is through reunification with birth family or through adoption.
- We work with your schedule. Our experienced case managers help guide families through the foster care journey.
- We work with you to schedule training on your time. We offer flexible training and approval process.
- We are a non profit focused on serving youth since 1903. Founded originally as an orphanage, we have cared for children needing a temporary home from the beginning.
Finding the right fit
- We put forth every effort to match children and families to ensure a successful outcome.
- We individualize all our programs and services to match each foster care case.
- 24 Hour on call support, monthly training and parent support groups.
- Access to over 200 online trainings approved by the state
- You will partner with one of our highly experienced HumanKind case workers
- Your local assigned case manager will be your advocate throughout the entire process – your local manager will make sure you are fully supported
HumanKind’s Treatment Foster Care program trains and supports loving foster parents to provide around-the-clock care for at-risk youth. Foster families come from all walks of life. Hear from some of our foster families how it all starts with love and the importance of pouring in the positive words.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 Theraputic 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.
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 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
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.
- 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.
- CPR & First Aid/Medication Management Training: HumanKind offers monthly CPR trainings as well as monthly medication management trainings.
- Attend monthly trainings/support groups: We’ve found that community is so vital for our foster parents that we want you to see what one of our group meetings looks like before you dive in.
- 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
- 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.
Typically, they are children who have experienced various types of abuse, neglect, abandonment or who come from dysfunctional environments. 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.
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.
Foster parent stipend is regulated by the VEMAT score. It can be confusing initially but something that will be discussed during orientation.
The approval process takes approximatley 8 – 12 weeks. For certification as a theraputic foster parent with HumanKind, please contact Jamie Creasy at 4345.444.0059 or Jcreasy@humankind.org.
This varies. It may take longer to place a child in your home depending on what you request in a child, such as age, gender, and behaviors that you either have the skills to work with or are willing to work with. 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.
Staff Spotlight: Lauren Brown
Lauren has been at HumanKind for three years. She began as a treatment foster care case worker and was later promoted to program manager of TFC. Prior to working at HumanKind, Lauren worked in social services for eight years.
When working with social services, Lauren discovered that she wasn’t in a place where she could connect with the families that were being separated. HumanKind on the other hand has allowed her to create meaningful connections with her clients.
“The reason why I love this job and why I come to work every day is for the children and the families. I get to know them on a deeper level than when I was their social services worker. We do home visits. We are in their home at least twice a month, sometimes more. I always tell my kids that we’re making the best out of a bad situation. You didn’t ask to be put in foster care, you didn’t do anything to put you in foster care but we’re going to treat you well, make sure you’re safe [and] all of your needs are met. These are people’s lives. These are their families. You have to be able to develop that trust and connection with them or it’s not going to work.”
Cases for Kids
Their belongings don’t belong in trash bags.
Unfortunately, it’s common for children who are leaving their biological home to bring no belongings or their belongings are in a trash bag when arriving to their foster home. Jamie Creasy, Director of Foster Care, had enough of this four years ago and decided to create Cases for Kids, a program designed to give children who are entering foster care to have a few new items of their own. Creasy did this because she wanted to give the kids something when everything they knew was being taken away from them.
“It’s very heartbreaking when a child walks into a home with their trash bag with dirty clothes in it.” Creasy said.
Cases for Kids’ goal is to supply every child from 5-18 with a book bag equipped with a hygiene kit, stuffed animal at least one outfit, pajamas, a gift card and a blanket. Book bags tend to vary on age and gender. While these items may seem small, they can be quite impactful.
“I will say, a lot of kids that I’ve placed, two years later you go back they’ll still have these blankets and stuffed animals.” Creasy said.