Becoming a foster parent with Casey Family Programs involves several steps requiring varying amounts of time, paperwork, and face-to-face meetings. Each step builds on the previous steps.
The process helps you decide whether foster parenting is indeed something you want to commit to. It also gives us a chance to get to know you better so that an appropriate match is made between foster family and youth.
Once you contact us to explore the possibility of becoming a foster parent, you can expect to follow the steps outlined below. This entire process typically takes about six months.
Step 1: First steps
When you first contact our office, a staff member will answer your questions about being a foster parent. If you're interested in taking the next step, we will ask you some basic questions about you and your family, and will mail you a packet of information and forms for you to fill out and return to us.
Step 2: Orientation
You will be invited to an orientation, where you will meet with other interested families and learn more about what it will mean for you to be a foster parent. In some cases, a staff person will come to your home and meet with you individually to answer your questions and provide information.
Step 3: Pre-service training
Every prospective foster parent is required to attend about 30 hours of pre-service training sessions. These sessions are designed to help you make a final decision about becoming a foster parent. In the sessions, we discuss what foster parenting is all about-what it takes, what to expect, the obligations, challenges, and rewards.
Step 4: Home study
During this step, one of our social workers specializing in family development will visit your home to interview you and any other family members and residents in your home. Typically, interviews are conducted during the course of at least two to four visits to your home. The interviews are an opportunity for us to:
- Gather background information about you and your family.
- Understand your motivations to become a foster parent.
- Ensure that foster parenting is a fit for you.
- Ensure that you will be able to provide a safe and nurturing home environment.
- Make sure your home has enough space to accommodate additional youth.
- Complete criminal background checks on everyone living in your home.
- Interview references provided by you.
Step 5: Group interview
Three to four Casey staff members, including social workers, will come to your home to conduct a group interview with you and members of your household. Then, based on what we learn together, we will be better able to jointly decide whether foster parenting with Casey is a good fit for you and your family at this time. You will meet the social worker who will be working with you if you become a foster parent.
Step 6: Licensing or certification
Depending on the state, Casey and/or the state reviews your application and determines whether or not to certify or license you as a foster parent.
Step 7: Child placement
Once you have the appropriate certification or license, Casey Family Programs can match you with a young person. You are now ready to provide a youth in foster care with a safe and loving home.