‘To serve the youth of Delaware County who are, or may be at risk of abuse or neglect so that children are raised in a safe, stable, nurturing, and permanent environment.’
Foster Parent Information:
Clothing list (initial placement)
- Infants and Toddlers
- Grade School Children
Clothing list (exit inventory)
- Infants and Toddlers
- Grade school children
Exit inventory (for all ages)
- Dates for pre-service training sessions
- Medication log
- Incident report form
- Foster parent exit questionnaire
- Training-knowledge Gained Form
- Travel Forms
Respite care is offered to foster parents who need time to reconnect with their own family, assess the needs of the foster child and/or provide a break to the foster child. Respite care providers can do numerous activities with the child ranging from helping with homework to recreational activities.
When a child is at serious risk of harm from abuse, neglect, or dependency, removal and placement out of the home is necessary. Juvenile Court will grant custody to Children Services to remove the child and place them in foster care. The least restrictive, most family-like setting that meets the child’s best interests and needs is considered by assessing the appropriateness of relatives and/or kinship caregiver. If this is not appropriate, the child is placed in a licensed foster home temporarily with a goal to reunite with the child’s family as quickly as possible.
The foster-to-adopt program allows parents to simultaneously achieve certification for fostering, and approval for the adoption process. There are only an initial 24 hours of pre-service training required to become certified, with 9 remaining hours being required before adoption can occur. This process gives families the opportunity to adopt a foster child that becomes eligible for adoption after that child is already in their home.
“Sometimes you just have to open your heart and your homes and take a chance to love these kids.” – Judy G
All children are entitled to grow up in families that can provide a safe, stable, and permanent home. When a child is unable to return to their family, permanent custody is granted by the court to Children Services with the goal of finding a safe, loving adoptive home for the child. The adoption process involves an extensive family assessment and matching criteria as it relates to the child’s needs. Adoptive services include pre and post adoption support from the agency, subsidy consideration and linkage to community support.
“We love our family. This has been the greatest experience for us and our family. Working with the Department has been wonderful. ” -Rachel C. (They have adopted four children and are in the process of adopting two more)
Youth in the child protection system who have been removed from their home and family often lack the support and resources to successfully transition into adulthood. Self-sufficiency planning is provided to all youth fifteen years and older who are receiving services from the agency. The purpose of providing services, hands-on life experience training and involvement with key community resource is to prepare youth to function safely and responsibly as young adults. Each plan is individualized and flexible to keep up with the changing needs of the youth.
Can I work full-time and still be a foster parent?
There are currently no restrictions concerning the work hours of foster parents. However, some children may require extra care and will be placed with families who are available to provide that extra care. Furthermore, any child care services fees incurred while the foster parent is at work are the financial responsibility of the foster parent. This is unless the day care provider is a state licensed facility or state licensed approved day care.
How many children are placed in the home at one time?
Delaware County Children Services normally does not place more than three foster children in a home at one time. However, special exceptions are made in cases of sibling groups or in emergency situations.
How long are children in foster care?
It depends. Children can be in foster care for as little as one night, or as long as two years. The ultimate goal is to provide the child with a safe, stable home until they can be reunited with their birthparents or a permanent plan is identified.
What kind of behaviors can I expect?
Children who enter foster care probably have been abused and/or neglected. As a result, foster children need a person or family who is willing and able to deal with the behaviors they often develop in response to this abuse or neglect. Children Services provides case management for any child that should need extra help adjusting to their new environment.
Will the child’s family be allowed visitations?
Parental visitations are scheduled and transportation is the responsibility of the foster parent. The goal of Children Services is to reunite families, therefore maintaining the parent-child relationship is important. Foster parents will receive pre-service training education to learn about their part in maintaining the parent-child relationship.
How often does a caseworker visit my home?
A caseworker will visit the home at least once a month, and is available for more visitations should more be necessary.
What services are available to assist foster parents?
Foster parents are provided with monthly financial assistance (which is dependent on the age of the child), clothing allowances, a medical card, counseling for the child, support groups, respite relief, and case management.
Do I need to be married to become a foster parent?
Foster families may be single parents of either sex, same sex parents, married or unmarried, already have children or be childless. As long as you can provide children with a safe and stable environment, Children Services is open to assessing all different types of families.
What do I do once the child is placed?
After a child is placed with you it is your responsibility to provide a stable, safe, and nurturing environment for that child until they are reunited with their family. The goal for the foster family would be to integrate the child into your family’s life, and teach them how to function in a family unit.