- Why should I become a Foster Parent?
Because you can make a difference in the life of a child. As a Communities for People (CFP) IFC foster parent you will receive on-going training, support and guidance in the areas of child development, parenting strategies and behavior management.
Committed, caring individuals, couples and families are desperately needed to provide temporary, loving homes to children who are not living with their families. You may possess the life experiences and special skills that could benefit a child in need.
CFP provides foster care for children, adolescents and young adults who are in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families. Our program serves clients whose ages range from birth/infancy to young adults up till their 22nd birthdays. The majority of our clients have special needs such as behavioral or emotional problems, medical conditions, physical handicaps or developmental delays. They may require additional support services to be successful in your home and CFP IFC staff will work with you to find and obtain those services. If you are over the age of 21 and are willing to complete the required background checks, pre-placement training and foster parent homestudy, you can provide a safe and stable home for a child in need.
- What is the difference between adoption and foster care?
Foster care is intended to provide a temporary family environment and short-term commitment to a child in need. Adoption is a permanent commitment to a child, intended to last a lifetime. In both cases, safe, supportive and nurturing homes are needed.
- How long will I have to wait for a placement?
Waiting time can vary according to family characteristics and incoming referrals. Often, it can take several months before a match is found.
- Will I be reimbursed as a Foster Parent?
Yes. Foster care reimbursement rates are determined by DCF. Please call us to get current rate. Children placed through CFP will also receive additional funds for clothing, birthdays, and holidays. Foster families are commonly called upon to provide services such as medication administration, behavioral management, and closely work with therapist. All foster children have medical and dental insurance.
- What if I cannot manage the child in my home?
CFP will make every attempt to assist you and your family in maintaining a child in your home. You will receive support from a team of highly skilled and sensitive professionals that will work with you every step of the way. The number one priority of our agency is the well-being our clients and our foster families and we do everything possible to make sure that everyone feels safe and secure.
- Will I meet the child before he/she moves in?
Whenever possible, pre-placement visits are arranged including day and overnight visits to your home. Occasionally, our families are asked to provide a home for a child referred in an emergency and pre-placement visits are not possible. All CFP foster families have the final say on whether or not a child is placed in their home.
- Could I eventually adopt a foster child?
Most children in foster care are not free for adoption and will be reunited with their birth parents. When appropriate, foster parents do adopt their foster children, but foster parenting alone does not guarantee that you will be able to do so. DCF makes the ultimate decision when approving adoptive families and no CFP foster family is expected to make a permanent commitment to the children placed in their home.
- Will I be required to provide transportation for my foster child?
Yes. Foster parents are required to provide routine and emergency transportation for the clients placed in their home. The CFP social worker will be able to assist you with arranging transportation for your foster child’s planned visits, appointments, and meetings. For events that require the foster parent’s attendance (Foster Care Reviews, school meetings, etc.) it is expected that the foster parent provide his/her own transportation.
- What kind of contact will I have with my client’s family?
The majority of children placed in on foster homes are working towards reunifying with their families and our foster parents play an essential role in making that happen. What type of contact each client has with their family is determined on a case-by-case basis and CFP IFC Program staff work with DCF to make sure that our clients and foster families feel comfortable with all visitation and contact plans.
- What happens in case of an emergency?
CFP has a 24-hour on-call service that will connect you to a social worker at any time. CFP is prepared to provide crisis intervention if required. Foster families will be informed of which hospital, emergency room, and doctor to refer to for medical emergencies. It is strongly advised that you become familiar with the resources in your community when you consider becoming a foster parent.