Who Are The Children?
Children enter foster care because they cannot remain in their homes and be safe. The children have unique strengths and needs. Some are experiencing a variety of social, emotional and behavioral or physical difficulties because of abuse and/or neglect. The children range in age from birth to 18 years old.
Most children are in out-of-home care temporarily. They need nurturing family homes for the duration of their stay in care.
Some children in out-of-home care are waiting for adoption and are in Partner Family homes, group homes and treatment facilities. They need families who will give them a home lasting into adulthood.
Who Are Partner Families?
Partner Families are changing out-of-home care by preserving a sense of connection and permanency in the life of every child, even during the most challenging times. This is done by promoting reunification with the natural family; but if this cannot be achieved, then by parenting the child through the adoption process.
With an investment of time, energy, love and guidance, Partner Families can make a difference in the lives of the children and families in need.
Individuals or couples can be licensed as partner parents. Partner Families receive financial reimbursement to meet the basic needs of the children. Children in the legal custody of the department may also be placed with relatives that can provide full-time care (relative care), protection and nurturing. Relatives who become licensed Partner Families may access the same services for children as non-relative Partner Families.
What Do Partner Families Do?
- Provide daily care, guidance and acceptance
- Experience a child’s first tooth, first steps, first day of school, first date, driving
- Model a healthy family lifestyle
- Assist with educational and medical needs
- Provide transportation to and from school and appointments
- Share information about the child’s progress and needs with the agency
- Promote and provide structure and appropriate and reasonable discipline
What Is Required To Become A Partner Family?
- Complete online orientation and quiz to begin the process
- Our Recruitment Specialist will contact you to discuss your desire and readiness to become a Partner Family
- Complete a thorough background screening and home study (at no cost) with our Licensing Department
- Complete P.R.I.D.E. training course
What Supports Are There For Partner Families?
- Monthly board payments to help offset the cost of caring for the child
- Clothing allowance for the child
- Monthly visits from a Family Care Counselor (case manager)
- Training to meet licensing requirements
- Other benefits may be available
What Are The Rewards Of Being A Partner Family?
- Be a positive influence in the life of a child
- Make a difference in families and communities
- Share in the growth of a child
- Help a child build a foundation on which to be successful in the community
- Contribute to the lives of children and families with a pay off for years to come
What If I Cannot Be A Partner Family Right Now? You Can:
- Donate School supplies
- Sponsor a child’s Christmas presents
- Sponsor a child for camp
Do I Need To Be Married To Become A Partner Family?
No, you do not need to be married to become a partner or adoptive parent.
Is There Financial Help If I Become A Partner Family?
Partner Families receive a monthly board rate. Medical care is covered by Medicaid, and daycare referrals are available for working partner parents.
How Long Will Children Stay In My Home?
Children may remain in your home for a few days, months or as long as a year.
Do You Have A History Or Record Of Abuse Or Neglect?
If you have been investigated by the department in the past, you may not be eligible to become a Partner Family. This includes substantiated cases of abuse and neglect or if your own child had to be placed in out-of-home care. When we receive your application, we will review our records.
Has An Adult In Your Home Ever Been Convicted Of A Crime?
If you or any adult residing in your home has been convicted of certain criminal offenses, you cannot be a Partner Family. Each adult member of your household will be fingerprinted, and a juvenile records check will be done on each child in your home 12 years of age and older.
Are You Ready To Begin The Home-study Process?
You are ready to begin if your life and home are stable. “Stable” means that you are not about to move and are not having financial, marital or emotional difficulties. If you rent, you will need your landlord’s approval. Also, your home must be in good repair. Overall, you must have given serious thought to the decision to become a Partner Family.