The first step to becoming a licensed Partner Family is to speak to a member of our Recruitment team and complete some initial paperwork. The initial packet can be requested by contacting Waheeda Deen (serving Alachua, Dixie, Gilchrist and Levy Counties) at 352-244-1534 or Lakisha Mills (serving Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor and Union Counties) at 386-243-8804. You may also request information on the Partner Family recruitment process by clicking on the tab titled “Request More Information.”
Upon meeting the requirements to become licensed, prospective parents will begin a 9 week course of Partner Family training called Parent Resources for Information Development and Education (PRIDE). PRIDE equips the individual(s) or couple with an understanding of the issues facing children in care. The course also helps the parent(s) learn more about their readiness to foster or adopt and about tools that may be helpful should they proceed in the process. The topics involved in training include, but are not limited to, protecting and nurturing children, meeting children’s development needs and addressing development delays, supporting children’s relationships with their birth families, connecting children to safe nurturing relationships and working as a member of a professional team.
PRIDE courses are available on both weekdays and some weekends and “Adoption Orientation” events are offered on a regular basis at Children’s Home Society. Those who express interest in adoption are also invited to attend meetings of the Mid-Florida Adoption Support Group to become acquainted with others who have adopted or are interested in adopting. Upon completion of PRIDE training, a home study process will begin followed by a thorough background check of the individual(s) and the individual’s family at no cost. We also encourage our future Partner Families to turn in a completed adoption application packet upon completion of this process if they are interested in one day pursuing adoption as well. Should you be matched to an available child, attorney fees for the adoption are also covered.
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!
Once you are licensed as a Partner Family, a child can come to live with you. Each you 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 at regular intervals.
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.