What is Foster Care?
Foster care provides a temporary, safe home for children in crisis. Foster parents are part of the child's support, treatment, and care programs. They are partners of the child's social worker, teachers, and doctors. Being a foster parent is not a passive act of opening one's home and providing food, clothing, and shelter. It is a proactive statement of nurturing, advocacy, and love.
What are the requirements for becoming a Foster Parent?
- Prospective foster parents and their babysitters must be livescanned (fingerprinted) and child abuse index cleared by the Department of Social Services. This is done at the expense of the agency and takes approximately 7 days for clearance. Anyone living in the home who is 18 years of age or older must also be fingerprinted and cleared. Please note that all foster children, regardless of age, may not be left unsupervised in the certified home without an exception granted by community care licensing. The foster children can only be supervised by a cleared adult 18 years of age or older.
- All foster parents are then required to complete a 12 hour foster parent certification training class. This is conducted by the agency at no expense to you. Classes are offered once a month. The certification class covers topics such as: foster parent responsibilities, child abuse reporting, CPS and the court system, agency policies and procedures, the types of children in the system, and what kinds of behaviors to expect and how these behaviors are addressed.
- All foster parents must be CPR and First Aid certified. Water safety certification is required for those who have a pool and/or spa.
- All foster parents must have a health screening (physical) from a doctor to verify that there are no physical conditions preventing you from becoming a foster parent. A negative TB test is also required.
- All foster parents are required to submit a budget report demonstrating adequate financial resources to maintain the family. The goal here is to show that you are not in need of foster care dollars to support your family.
- All foster parents must have adequate space in their home or apartment. Only 2 children can be in one room. A child 5 years of age or older can only share a room with another child of the same sex. A child 2 years of age or under can share a room with the foster parent.
- The foster home must meet licensing regulations. A list of requirements is included in the application process. Paradise Oaks has a staff member available to help you through this process if necessary.
- If you have cats or dogs in the home, a copy of their rabies vaccinations is required.
What does Paradise Oaks look for when assessing families who want to become Foster Parents?
First, and most importantly, we are looking for families that are committed to helping children and that can love and nurture children without hesitation. We are also looking for families who are flexible, patient, understanding and able to work as team members in the best interest of children.
What are the characteristics of a successful Foster Family?
- Patience and understanding
- Good communication
- Open to feedback and direction
- Sense of humor
- Ability to ask for help when needed
- Ability to set clear boundaries and limits
- Ability not to personalize a child's behavior
What is Paradise Oaks' process for certification?
Once a person has decided that they want to be a certified foster parent, an individual meeting is scheduled between you and the Program Director. During this meeting you are interviewed and asked a series of questions. The Program Director will provide you with the application packet needed to begin the certification process. Your livescan/child abuse index check will also be scheduled at this time. You will then receive confirmation of the 12 hour foster parent certification class. Once you have completed the class, the application process, and your clearances have been received, a homestudy will be conducted by the agency social worker. This is scheduled to take place at your home for your convenience. Upon completion of the homestudy, a home inspection will be scheduled. This is the final step before you are licensed as a certified foster family. After licensing, you are added to the agency's availability list pending placement of your first foster child.
How long does it take to get certified?
The certification process depends on how quickly you complete and return your paperwork along with how quickly the livescan/child abuse index clearances come back.
Will I receive financial assistance to care for the child?
Yes. You will receive a monthly stipend for each foster child that is placed in your home. The amount of that stipend varies depending on the age of the child. Paradise Oaks also provides an additional clothing allotment every quarter.
Who pays for the child's medical care?
The State. Each child is covered by Medi-Cal to meet all of their medical and dental care needs.
Where do the Foster Children come from?
The foster children are placed through Children's Protective Services (CPS). Paradise Oaks collaborates with 7 different counties: Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, San Joaquin, Yuba, and Butte. Paradise Oaks also works with Alta California Regional Center and referrals may come directly from them.
Can I adopt the Foster Child?
Possibly. The goal of foster care is to reunify foster children with their biological families. If this is not possible, the county will begin looking for an adoptive home. If there are no biological family members interested in adopting the child, the county usually begins their search by asking the current foster family if they are interested in adopting the child.
How can I find out more information on becoming a Foster Parent?
Call Paradise Oaks Foster Family Agency at (916) 967-6253. You may also submit your information via our Contact Form and we will contact you.
Call us today, We need you!
serving the sacramento area, including antelope, carmichael,
elk grove, orangevale, rancho cordova,
rio linda, Roseville & Rocklin