Fostering children can be one of the most difficult things you will ever do—but it can also be one of the most rewarding life choices you can make. It is natural to want to gather as much information as possible when you are deciding whether or not to foster. One of the first things you should do is contact your local state agency for the most up-to-date information.
In Indiana, the need for foster parents is high, just like the national need. Children generally stay in homes on an average of two months, and over half of those kids are eventually reunited with their parents. Families work to provide loving, safe homes for these kids with an eye towards making sure that they make all available appointments, meetings, court cases, and keep up with their school and their family visits—in a word, it’s a busy life!
If you are over 21, you can begin the licensing process to become a foster care provider, and your assigned social worker can walk you through the steps. Here’s what to expect:
- You will need to pass an extensive background and licensing check
- You will need to take classes and have your home approved for children
- You will need to complete training in both First Aid and CPR
- It will take, on average, about six months to complete training
Once you are approved and trained, a child will be placed with you, and you will be reimbursed on a per-diem basis. Generally, the payments come once a month, and each child will be covered for medical insurance under the state. But don’t expect a “big paycheck” for being a foster parent—the funds generally cover additional food, gas, clothing, and other outputs that come from raising children. Foster parents don’t provide care for kids in order to make money; they do it because they feel called to provide loving and stable homes for kids who are in a tough situation. If you feel like this is the life for you, contact your local foster agency and set up a meeting. The kids will change your life for the better!
Jennifer Galan mothers four kids (one adopted, three biological) all while living the nomadic life of a military wife. She is a strong advocate for open adoptions, education reform, feminism, kindness, and naps. Mostly naps. Her favorite Doctor is number ten, and she is a proud Ravenclaw.