How Do I Become a Foster Parent?
Becoming a foster parent means opening your heart and home to provide a child or sibling group in foster care with a caring, nurturing home. It is a wonderful and life-changing experience for parent and child alike. There are currently approximately 14,000 children in foster care in New York City, from very young children to teenagers. Most are eventually able to return to their birth families and need temporary foster homes. Some children need permanent homes through adoption. Here's how to get started:
Get the Information
Request an information packet by clicking here, or the Parent Recruitment Hotline at 212-676-WISH(9474), outside of NYC: 877-676-WISH (9474) to have it mailed to you. You can schedule an orientation during your first call to the Hotline or wait until after you receive the information packet. You can also attend an informational forum.
Get to Know Us
You will attend an orientation where child welfare professionals will give you an overview of foster care and answer your questions. At the end of the orientation you will be given an application to fill out. Return the completed application to your foster care agency, who will contact you to begin a home study.
We'll Get to Know You
We will need to know more about you, your home and family, to ensure that you are prepared to care for children, and that your home is safe. A social worker will work with you to complete a home study which can take up to several months. The home study provides the child welfare agency and the courts with detailed information needed to place children in your care. You and your social worker will meet several times during the process. You will submit relevant documents such as birth certificate, marriage license, income tax returns, and medical reports completed by your physician. All adults in your home must be fingerprinted and cleared through the State Central Register for Abuse and Neglect.
While the home study is underway, you will attend 30-hour Model Approach Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) training. Through MAPP you will improve your parenting skills and assess your own strengths as a foster parent. You will learn how to work with birth parents and how to help children adjust to their temporary home. You will also learn about the subsidies you will receive for the care of the child and you will find out about your rights and responsibilities as a foster parent.
Get Certified, Open Your Heart and Home
Once you have successfully completed the home study and the foster parent training, you become a certified foster parent, and can begin to care for foster children in your home. You are able to accept children who are in care on a temporary basis or become an adoptive home to a child who is ready to be adopted.