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Foster Care

Did You Know?

Children who are adopted spent an average of 22 months in state care

Family Law - Foster Care

There are more than 507,000 children in foster care and 109,350 of those children live in . Fostering care is a way of offering children and young people a home while their own parents are unable to look after them. This is often a temporary arrangement, and many fostered children return to their own families. Children who cannot return home but still want to stay in touch with their families often live with a long-term foster care. African-American children make up approximately two thirds of the foster care population and remain in care longer. Two out of three children who enter foster care are reunited with their birth parents within two years.

Foster care is a substitute care service for children who need to be separated from their parents. One-half of these children are placed because of abuse and neglect and one-quarter because of parental condition or absence. Children are also placed in Foster Care for parent-child conflicts, or because of a child's disability. Ideally, the placement is temporary and only used as a last resort.

Other reasons for foster placement include severe behavioral problems in the child and/or a variety of parental problems, such as abandonment, illness (physical or emotional), incarceration, AIDS, alcohol/substance abuse, and death.

Being removed from their home and placed in foster care is a difficult and stressful experience for any child. Many of these children have suffered some form of serious abuse or neglect. About 30% of children in foster care have severe emotional, behavioral, or developmental problems. Physical health problems are also common. Most children, however, show remarkable resiliency and determination to go on with their lives.

Children in foster care often struggle with the following issues:

  • Blaming themselves and feeling guilty about removal from their birth parents
  • Wishing to return to birth parents even if they were abused by them
  • Feeling unwanted if awaiting adoption for a long time
  • Feeling helpless about multiple changes in foster parents over time
  • Having mixed emotions about attaching to foster parents
  • Feeling insecure and uncertain about their future
  • Reluctantly acknowledging positive feelings for foster parents

Foster Care Requirements Usually Include:

  • Completion of an application for family home license
  • Background check, criminal history check and finger printing of each adult member of the household
  • Family stability
  • Home inspection and personal interview
  • Character references
  • Minimum age of applicant: 21
  • Prior to licensure/certification pre-service training
  • Foster parents receive a partial reimbursement of costs incurred for each child in your care.

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