First, contact 352-244-1534 or fill out the Request More Information form. Next, you will be mailed a packet of information and invited to an orientation meeting where you will be given a detailed overview of the partner family program and the licensing and application process.
After that, you will begin at least 30 hours of partner family training, called Model Approach to Partnership and Parenting (MAPP). The kinds of topics you will discuss include: Reasons you want to foster a child - Your childhood - Your marriage (if applicable) - Your lifestyle and whether it could accommodate a child - Your finances - Your parenting philosophy - Your support system.
After completing the MAPP training, a study of your home will be conducted. A background check of law enforcement records will be made for you and your family. Your friends, relatives and employers will be contacted to give character references for you and your family.
When you have successfully completed the preparation sessions and the home study has been completed with a recommendation for you to become a partner family, you will receive a license to be a partner parent. You’ve made it!
The entire licensing process should be completed in about six months from the date you attend the orientation session. Once you are licensed as a partner family, a child can come to live with you. Each year that you continue as a partner parent, you will need to attend 8 hours of recertification training on issues such as child development, attachment disorders and how to support relationships between children and their families. You will also have to renew your license annually.
The length of time a child in out-of-home care will live with you will vary from child to child. During the time a child resides with you, the state will reimburse you for at least part of the cost of caring for the child. The reimbursement rate is determined by the age of the child. In addition, health costs for children in care are covered by Medicaid. A case manager will meet with you and the child(ren) in your home at least once a month and will be available to assist with concerns and questions.