Partner Family Requirements
To a CHILD, foster care can be a very lonely place. A child in foster care questions who will be there and what, if anything, is permanent. Ironically, often there may be both a biological family and a foster family wishing to care for the child. However, when each operates in isolation, the child feels disconnected and often, neither family is able, on its own, to fully meet the child's needs. A PARTNER FAMILY provides that desperately needed connection. A partner family serves as a SAFE HAVEN for a child as well as a bridge to the natural parents, parenting as a TEAM while the child is in out-of-home care. Above all, a partner family commits to preserving a sense of permanency in the life of the child, first by PROMOTING REUNIFICATION with the natural family; but if this cannot be achieved, then by committing to parent the child through the adoption process. Partner families are changing foster care so that each child will have a sense of connection and permanency, even during the most challenging of times.
Partner Family Requirements:
- Willingness to work with birth families
- Be 21 years of age
- Steady income (enough for your family)
- Stable housing (rented or owned)
- Attend new partner family orientation
- Complete M.A.P.P. course
- Submit all requested documentation
- Every child must have 40 square feet of bedroom space.
- A bed must be present for every child that you will be licensed for.
- You must have a crib set up to be licensed for infants.
- Children cannot share a room with a person over the age of 18. (If they are less than 1 year old they can sleep in a crib in the master bedroom.)
- The home must be tested for Radon. (Pick up a radon test kit at Lowe's or Home Depot)
- If you live in the following, you do not have to do the Radon Test: (Hamilton, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Bradford, Madison, Taylor; Clay; Flagler, Baker, St. Johns)
- The home must have working smoke alarms near the bedrooms.
- The home must have a charged 5 pound fire extinguisher.
- The home must have a first aid kit.
- Any medications (both over the counter and prescription) must be locked behind a key or combination lock.
- All chemicals (anything that says "keep out of reach of children") must be locked behind a key or combination lock.
- If the home has burglar bars on the window they must be easily removable.
- Thermometers must be located in the refrigerator and freezer.
- Evacuation route must be posted in visible location (copy of floor plan with routes marked).
- Any fire arms must be locked and ammunition locked separately.
- Photos of all household members and every room in the home will be taken.
- The home must be inspected by the County Health Department. They look for:
- General cleanliness and safety of the home
- Temperature of water from faucets must be no more than 120 degrees.
- Thermometers must be located in the refrigerator and freezer
- Smoke alarms must be working
- Any pool must be surrounded by a four-foot tall barrier that is locked at all access points (your backyard can be fenced in).
- The foster parents must have Red Cross water safety certification.
- There must be a life saving device (rescue buoy, ring, or safety pole).
- All pets must have up to date shot records (rabies shots for cats and dogs; whatever vaccinations are legally required for other pets).
- If the dog is large and/or a typically dangerous breed, there must be a way to secure it away from children.
- Must have copy of 4-6 weeks' worth of income verification (copies of pay checks)
- Copy of Driver's License and Auto Insurance Card
- Copy of any and all Marriage Certificates or Divorce Decree