Becoming A Foster Parent Part 1
When we started becoming foster parents we had no idea what the process would be. Even though I had been a foster care myself I had no idea what it took to become a foster parent. Even if you don’t have anything to worry about it’s still a stressful process. There’s a mound of paperwork, invasive questions about all aspects of your life both now and you’re past. We had tons of questions too. What will they want to know about us? What would we have to change in our home to pass inspection? Would it be ok with our dog? We were about to find out as we started the process to become foster parents.
We didn’t plan on becoming foster parents. The process was a little different for us since we got the kids before we got licensed. The process can also vary by state. Where we are, you can receive maintenance payments for the kids for only 90 days without being licensed so we had to get the ball rolling. The licenser contacted us to set up the appointment for our fist visit and she emailed us paperwork ahead of time to start filling out. We also had to register online to be fingerprinted for federal back ground checks. they take awhile to come back so it’s best to get it done as soon as possible.
What will you need to have a copy/ show proof of? At the first visit to become foster parents we needed to have:
- A copy of our driver license
- Birth certificates for everyone including children
- Proof of income (W-2/ last year’s tax returns/ pay stubs)
- Proof of auto insurance
- Marriage license and/or divorce decrees
- Proof of military service or discharge
- Proof of current rabies vaccination for our pets (We have a Staffordshire and a Chihuahua.)
On top of the application to become foster parents we also received paperwork to give to our employer to fill out and the Kinship/Foster Parent Questionnaire. This would be the part where they said it would get pretty invasive, and they were right. There were questions on there about every part of our lives both now and the past. Not just the usual questions like any history of breaking the law or substance abuse but more personal questions like, “How was your first dating experience”. They were questions about our childhood, those involved in our growing up, and how we felt about those people. There are also question regarding your views on parenting, corporal punishment, and how you think certain topics should be discussed. There are some good questions on there that get your thinking. Like.. “What makes me a good parent? When do I feel like a bad parent?” or “When do I feel like a good spouse? When do I feel like I’ve let my spouse down?”
There will also be a couple other mini packets including things such as the Foster Parent Bill of rights, what disciplines you can/cannot use, and forms for everyone to take to your physician get physical exams. Overall the amount of paperwork didn’t really seem that bad since they don’t’ throw it all at you at once. The questions, though invasive, I don’t think were unnecessary. Overall a few hours gathering documents and getting everything in order, a couple of hours filling out paperwork and several signatures later we were started in the process of becoming foster parents.