Relative/Kinship Foster Care FAQs
Q: What are the benefits of becoming a kinship foster family?
A: As a kinship foster family, you will qualify to receive monthly financial reimbursements and health care assistance for each foster child in your care. Additionally, you will experience the joy of ensuring that the children in your home grow up in a safe, nurturing environment.
Q: How much is the monthly financial reimbursement?
A: Financial reimbursement, along with medical and dental coverage, will vary dependant on the needs of the child or children in your care. On average, foster families will receive around $675 per child per month.
Q: How long is the process for becoming a licensed foster home?
A: The length of the process will vary with each family, but in many cases, the process can be completed in as little as two months.
Q: Are the training classes mandatory?
A: There are a number of training classes that must be completed in order to become a verified foster home. This includes the two-day PRIDE training class, CPR class and other classes. DePelchin staff will work to accommodate your schedule and make the training as convenient as possible.
Q: What can I expect from a home study?
A: A home study is a joint effort with your family that helps determine what your family’s needs and strengths are. Each family will undergo a comprehensive assessment by a DePelchin home study worker and will be required to meet certain standards in order to become a verified foster home.
Q: What is Permanency Care Assistance (PCA)?
A: Permanency Care Assistance is a benefit available to you if you agree to take permanent custody of the child or children in your care. The PCA program provides monthly financial assistance up to $545 for each child in your care until his or her 18th birthday, as long as the child remains in your care. Additionally, you may be eligible to receive up to $2,000in reimbursement for activities (such as legal fees) related to preparing to take permanent custody of the child or children. Additionally, the child or children will be eligible for the following:
- Healthcare benefits
- Extended benefits through age 21 if the child is age 16 years or older when the PCA agreement is signed
- College tuition waiver
- Education and training voucher
Q: Is it expensive to foster a child?
A: No. Foster parents receive monthly financial support to help care for each child in their home, including assistance for medical and dental expenses.
Q: Do you have to be married or own a home to foster a child?
A: No. Foster parents can be married or single, working or retired. Even if renting a house or an apartment, you are eligible to foster or adopt a child if you can provide a safe, nurturing environment with adequate space for children.
Q: What types of children need foster families?
A: Children of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds need foster families, specifically:
- Children 2-17 years old
- Sibling groups
- Members of an ethnic minority group
- Children facing physical, mental or emotional challenges because of past abuse or neglect
Q: How can I handle the emotional or behavioral issues these children may have?
A: DePelchin provides foster families thorough and on-going training on how to best care for children with special emotional needs. We also offer families a wide range of support services through our caring team of social workers, counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists.
Q: As a foster parent, what if I grow attached to the child in my care?
A: Bonding with a child in your care is a good thing! The love and support you show a child can make a lasting difference in his or her life. Yes, letting a child go may be difficult, but ultimately you will find comfort in knowing you forever changed the life of a child in need. If a foster child is available for adoption, DePelchin is uniquely equipped to help families through the adoption process.
Q: How long is the process of becoming a foster parent?
A: The length of the process will vary based on circumstances unique to fostering each child. The process typically lasts between three to four months and includes:
- attending an informational orientation
- completing an application
- attending a brief training program
- participating in a home study
Q: What is a home study?
A: A home study is a collaborative effort with a family that helps us determine if foster parenting is a good fit for a family. In the home study, a staff member will assess the potential foster home and complete a written summary on the strengths and skills a family possesses that will aid in foster parenting.