A little black girl giving an older black female a high five.

Become a Foster Parent

How it Works 

When a child is removed from their home, foster parents provide safe and loving homes, and support a child during a difficult time. Association House helps foster parents meet and exceed licensing requirements. Our bilingual staff provides training and support throughout your time as a foster parent, so you can make a difference in the life of a child.

Eligibility 

Anyone can become a foster parent regardless of your gender or marital status. To become a foster parent at Association House’s Child Welfare program, you must complete the following requirements:

  • Must be at least 21 years old.

  • Legal residency/citizenship of the United States

  • Extra bedroom in home

  • Medical exams and fingerprinting for each person residing in home

  • Income & Financial Stability

  • Completion of 27 hours of Foster Parent Training

  • 3 reference letters

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April, a white female foster parent holding the hand of the child she is fostering.

"What inspired me to be a foster parent was the desire to be a mother to someone who really needs that mother figure. Even though I know it could be temporary, I still feel like it is worth it to be that nurturing parent for however much time that child needs it. Helping that person become who he will become is a privilege for me."

- April, Foster Parent

154 children were protected and cared for in foster care.

FAQs

How long does it take to become a foster parent?

The process takes approximately 3 – 6 months. To receive your foster care license, you must go through 27 hours of training, each adult in your household must pass a federal background check, and there is a home study which assures that your home or apartment is appropriate for a child. 

As soon as your process is complete your case worker will begin to explore placements with you. 

Do I need to own a home to be a foster parent?

Nope! Renting a home is totally fine, as long as all other requirements are met. 

Do a child's birth parents visit him or her?

A large part of a child’s identity comes from his or her family. As a foster parent, you will need to make an effort for your child to stay connected through visits. Your case worker will work with you on the time and location of these visits. Sometimes it’s a grandparent and/or siblings that desire to stay in touch with a child. Learning about this and becoming comfortable with this is part of your foster care training.  

How much does it cost to become a foster parent, or to adopt through foster care?

It is free to become a foster parent.  And it is free to adopt from foster care.  There are no legal expenses.  Note that adoption through an adoption agency (either domestic or foreign) can cost between $25,000 – $40,000. Each child who is adopted through foster care receives a small stipend until the age of 18. And, there are many college scholarships for children who have been adopted through foster care. 

Please note that in foster care, our goal is always reunification first. If reunification simply is not possible, as determined by the courts, then foster families may choose to adopt the children they have cared for. 

What kind of support will I receive as a foster parent? 

Each child is covered with health insurance and each child receives a stipend for his or her individual care. The stipend is different according to each child’s needs. On top of that, Association house has Direct staff service involvement – both case managers and licensing representatives are easily accessible for our foster parents to ensure their questions are being answered, follow up with information or provide guidance.

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