Foster Care Services In
Hillsborough & Osceola Counties
Specialized, Therapeutic Transitions and Traditional Foster Parents
Frequently Asked Questions
- I wouldn't mind adding a child to my home, but I'm at the stage in my life where I don't want an infant or a toddler. Are there children of other ages available to foster?
- There is so much "red tape" involved. It just seems so confusing and I don't know where to begin. What help can I expect?
- What types of foster care are available?
- Who are the children that need foster families?
- Who can become a foster parent?
Q: I WOULDN'T MIND ADDING A CHILD TO MY HOME, BUT I'M AT THE STAGE IN MY LIFE WHERE I DON'T WANT AN INFANT OR A TODDLER. ARE THERE CHILDREN OF OTHER AGES AVAILABLE TO FOSTER?
A: Children in foster care range in age from 0 to 18 years of age, and youth have the option to remain in extended foster care beyond their 18th birthday. Foster families participate in a thorough assessment of their skills and preferences in order to ensure that children placed into their care are a good match and will have their needs met.
Q:THERE IS SO MUCH "RED TAPE" INVOLVED. IT JUST SEEMS SO CONFUSING AND I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN. WHAT HELP CAN I EXPECT?
A: One of the primary roles of Fostering Families is to act as a liaison with, and provide information about, all the the agencies with which a family may interact during the process. We make every effort to make the process as "user friendly" and efficient as possible.
Additionally, a home study is required as well as meeting all licensing requirements. All of these services are provided by Fostering Families and are free of charge. Following this, a child/family match is proposed and visits begin.
Fostering Families will work with prospective families at their own pace, but strives to have homes licensed within 60 days from the completion of pre-service training.
Q:WHAT TYPES OF FOSTER CARE ARE AVAILABLE?
A: Fostering Families has four different types of foster care available, ranging from regular through therapeutic. Generally the higher the level of care provided by the parent, the greater the number of services provided to the child and family. The stipend also increases based on the level of care required.
Regular foster care is provided to children who have temporarily been removed from their homes and generally remain in the foster care system between 24 hours to one year. The goal is often reunification with the biological family. Examples of services provided may be counseling or educational support. A family may care for up to five children.
Supported foster care is provided to children who have had previous multiple foster care placements, currently reside in our Kid's Village program or some other residential facility, and have remained in the system for an extended period of time. Examples of services provided may be ongoing therapy, use of medication to control behavioral issues, and/or therapeutic support for post traumatic stress disorder, etc. This level of care receives a higher subsidy.
Therapeutic foster care is provided to children who have experienced significant trauma in their lives and requires ongoing therapeutic support and 24-hour supervision. A maximum of two children may be placed in a therapeutic home. A minimum of one visit per week is required by the child's case manager. Parents providing therapeutic foster care must have flexible schedules and be ready to facilitate care whenever required. This level of care receives a higher level of subsidy.
Q:WHO ARE THE CHILDREN THAT NEED FOSTER FAMILIES?
A: Children in foster care are ages birth-17 years old and:
- Traumatized by their experiences prior to, and a a result of, removal
- Often part of a sibling group needing placement together
- Physically, mentally, or emotionally challenged
- Capable, lovable, worthwhile, and able to heal and thrive
Q: WHO CAN BECOME A FOSTER PARENT?
A: Any person willing to be a resource and support to a waiting child(ren), and willing to commit their time, attention and understanding to that child(ren)
Foster parents may be single or married with or without children, who complete a minimum of 21 hours of pre-service training, and complete the licensure process.
Prior to fostering, parents must be willing to work in partnership with Fostering Families, who will provide, free of charge, all needed support before, during, and after placement for children and their families.
The challenges can be great, but so are the rewards!
For more information on becoming a foster parent in Hillsborough County,
call (813) 864-1403 or click here to send an email.
For more information on becoming a foster parent in Osceola County,
call (407) 744-2665 or click here to send an email.