The Basics on Fostering

Children in the foster care system have been removed from their homes (for reasons you can see below) and the role of a foster parent is to protect, nurture and raise the child until a permanent, safe home can be found for them.

That more-permanent home may be with their birth parent(s) in what is known as “reunification”, it might be with a foster parent (in what is known as “foster to adoption”), the home of a relative or another avenue.

Many people considering adopting a child also consider fostering a child: in both cases, you’d be helping to raise a child whom you didn’t deliver and who very much needs your love and support.

However, the reality is that many foster children have endured trauma, there is no guarantee you will become their permanent parents, and as a result, states often struggle to find a home for foster children.

As a result, it is faster, easier and less costly financially to welcome home a child as a foster parent than it is through domestic or international adoption, as you can see below.

Often the “upfront costs” to fostering are minimal, and as many foster parents will tell you, they received “the big call” sometimes days, if not hours, after they were eligible to take a child. Most foster parents receive tax breaks to offset the costs to look after the child, and that child is often eligible for medicaid. While it may be harder to find pediatricians, physical therapists, emotional therapists and speech pathologists who accept medicaid (many foster parents will tell you their child needed two or more of these services), if you do, care is largely covered.

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Foster Care 101

In this course we'll cover the steps to starting the foster process, how to help children who've suffered emotional and physical trauma, how to navigate transracial challenges, what the process looks like for single and LGBTQ individuals, and the process of adopting through the foster care system.