Resource Family Inquiries and Requirements

Inquiries

Any person, who is at least 21 years of age, may apply to become a foster parent by contacting the Bridge Family Resource Center at 1-800-376-9729.

Requirements

All applicants must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age and preferably no more than 55 years older than the child considered for placement Have healthy relationships whether married, single, separated or divorced
  • Have the ability to manage personal and household financial needs without relying on the foster care reimbursement
  • Provide appropriate sleeping arrangements for each child placed
  • Provide verification that all members of the household are in sufficiently good physical and mental health to provide for the individual needs of each child placed
  • Consent to a search of all DHS records, including Child Welfare records
  • Ensure that each member of the household, 18 years of age or older, submits fingerprints for a state and national criminal history records search
  • Consent to a search of Juvenile Justice Information System (JOLTS) records for any child older than 13 years of age in the household
  • Ensure that no member of the household has a prior conviction of any sexual offense Not smoke in the home when a child is placed in the home
  • Not smoke in the automobile when transporting a child placed
  • Provide references
  • Complete DHS-approved pre-service training
  • Complete 12 hours of in-service training each calendar year Demonstrate the basic competencies that are to:
    1. Protect and nurture children who have been abused, emotionally maltreated, or neglected
    2. Meet the medical and developmental needs of these children
    3. support relationships between children and their parents, siblings and kin as specified by DHS
    4. connect the child to a safe, nurturing relationship
    5. collaborate with DHS as a team member
  • Provide a home that is clean and safe Have a house assessment completed
  • Have extended family or friends to provide support and child care other than, or, in addition to, licensed child care paid by DHS
  • Submit verification of employment when requesting paid child care services for a child in foster care
  • Acknowledge and agree to abide by applicable state statutes and DHS rules regarding children in their care that include, but are not limited to:
    1. DHS, as the legal custodian of the child, has the right to move any child from any foster home at any time when in the child’s best interests and in accordance with statutes governing movement of children
    2. The necessity of maintaining and respecting the confidential nature of all information regarding a child placed in the foster home, and that a breach of confidentiality may be grounds for closure of the foster home and termination of the foster care contract
    3. The requirement that DHS investigate or assess allegations of abuse, neglect, or maltreatment of any child in DHS custody placed in an approved foster home in the same manner as any other abuse or neglect investigation or assessment conducted by DHS
  • Notify DHS whenever any member of the foster family is seriously ill or hospitalized Provide a physician’s statement, once approved as a foster parent:
    1. For any hospital stay
    2. For ongoing outpatient medical or mental health care, including psychological counseling
    3. Upon DHS request
  • Agree to provide foster care as a planned, temporary placement for children with the goal of family reunification or other permanency plan
  • Work as a member of a professional multidisciplinary team with DHS staff to develop an individualized service plan for each child placed
  • Share parenting of the child in care with the parents, who may have different values and lifestyles Agree to actively mentor the parent in helping them improve their ability to safely care for their child
  • Treat all information regarding the child and family as confidential, only sharing such information necessary to obtain services for the child or with persons who are directly involved with the case
  • Participate in the development of an effective parent and child visitation plan that may include contact with the parents and siblings, if siblings are separated
  • Comply with DHS rules on discipline
  • Maintain requirements necessary for continued approval as a foster home
  • Participate in the re-assessment of the foster home and the evaluation of the DHS Foster Care program and services
  • Utilize the foster care reimbursement for the care and maintenance of the child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, incidentals, non-prescription medications, including special activity fees, allowances and recreational opportunities
  • Utilize the clothing allowance included in the foster care reimbursement to provide adequate clothing for the child placed
  • Comply with all state statutes relating to the care and support of minors including those that prohibit the use of tobacco, alcohol or non-prescribed medications

Continue to Resource Parents’ Roles and Responsibilities