We wish we could tell you that anyone can be a foster parent but that simply is not the case. Fortunately, MOST people do meet the criteria.
You must be at least 21 years of age.
You can be single, married, divorced or widowed.
You can be any race or ethnicity.
All members of the home must pass a criminal background check. No, that speeding ticket your spouse got last week will not affect your ability to become a foster parent but a history of domestic abuse can result in declining your request. Do you have a past that prevents foster care but you still want to help? We appreciate that! Click here for ways anyone can help a child regardless of background!
You can be any gender or gender identity.
Any safe home, whether it is a house, mobile home, or apartment, in the city or the country could qualify.
It does not matter if you have children or not, however there is a limit on the total number of children allowed in the home at any given point in time so if you already have three children, you can only foster up to two at any given time. Some exceptions can be made for sibling groups.
When it comes to commitment, we need to be very honest with ourselves. It is easier to say than it is to do with a child who has been through unknown trauma and is acting out. Sometimes a foster parent feels like they can not handle it and they ask for the child to be moved to a different foster home. When that happens, it actually increases the trauma on the child. Approximately half of all new foster parents quit in their first year of fostering. If you take this difficult but rewarding path toward foster care, will you commit to reach out and seek out all available support? Will you be strong enough to say, “I don’t know what to do?” Can you ask for help when you need it? Can you set aside your own feelings of helplessness to be there for the child who cannot recognize his or her own needs?
Can you accept that discipline as you may know it will not work on most foster children?
Remember, the children who need love the most ask for it in the most unloving ways.–Russel Barkley