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Julie, Monroe County

The best decision we ever made! Fostering and Adopting has been amazing.

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Wisconsin Foster Care FAQs

Treatment Foster Care provides a healing environment for children who have experienced significant trauma due to abuse and/or neglect. Many foster kids need support services and the majority do not receive any. Kids at CCR thrive and heal because of an amazing support system. Children are referred to treatment care when a county home is unavailable to meet the needs of a child or when a county home is unavailable to keep sibling groups together. Kids ages 0-18 and sibling groups are referred to CCR every day from county foster agencies across Wisconsin. Foster parents are part of the healing process along with a hands on caseworker that visits the foster family and children on a weekly basis. Foster parents can live in any county and foster with CCR.

It typically takes 3-4 months to complete the foster care licensing process. Much of the timing depends on how quickly paperwork is completed and returned to us. New foster parent training takes place 6 times per year, so the process can be started whenever you are ready to begin. Read our blog Getting a Foster Care License
Qualifying is easier than you might think. The most important requirement is having a flexible schedule. Foster kids often have weekly appointments and unplanned interruptions will most likely occur. Availability around school schedules is also required. Yes, you can work full-time but flexibility is a must. For a full list of qualifiers, visit how to qualify to be a foster parent. Read our blog: Can foster parents work full-time?

There are 5 easy steps to become a foster parent. The process is not difficult, it just takes a few months. We promise to hold your hand through it all and make sure you are comfortable and understand all the pieces of getting a foster care license. The first step is to call us. We promise to answer your call promptly and provide the information you're looking for.

800-799-0450

Yes! We need loving homes in ALL Wisconsin counties. Our foster parents can live in ANY county and be a licensed foster home with us. We currently have foster homes in 35 Wisconsin counties yet sadly, we cannot place all of the children due to a lack of foster homes. See the Wisconsin Counties we serve.
Yes, foster parents can work full time, however, you must have flexibility in your schedule to be available before and after school and during school breaks. Please read our blog Can Foster Parents Work Full-time? If you don't have the flexibility required to be a full-time foster parent, please consider becoming a respite care provider. It's like babysitting for foster kids!
Absolutely, you can be a single foster parent! Singles with a great support system are highly encouraged to foster. Keep in mind, having a flexible schedule is required to meet the needs of the children. Being available before and after school and during school breaks is required. (daycare is available for younger children) Read our blog: Can I be a Single Foster Parent?
Absolutely! Community Care Resources welcomes all from the LGBT community to explore fostering with us. Finding an agency whose practices are genuinely affirming and whose staff members will fit with your family’s needs is very important to have a positive fostering experience. We have licensed many LGBT foster parents in Wisconsin over our 30 years, many of whom have adopted their foster children. We also have LGBTQ youth in foster care who require foster parents that are compassionate and understanding of their specific needs. This fact sheet provided by ChildWelfare.gov is designed to answer some of the initial questions LGBT prospective foster parents or adoptive parents may have in hopes of helping to better inform them during this first stage of the journey.
There is NO cost to become a foster parent in Wisconsin.

Most of the kids we place are school-age, over age 5. If toddlers are referred to us, they are usually part of a sibling group. We rarely place babies. Ages do vary and we never know from day to day what ages will be referred to us from county agencies. Being open to fostering siblings or more than one child at a time is desirable.

Having an age or gender preference is okay and encouraged. We are happy to talk with you about your preferences.

The average time most children spend in a CCR foster home is 12-30 months. A child may stay in foster care until he or she is adopted, is reunited with family or ages out of the system. Because Community Care Resources does not offer emergency or short term foster placements, we ask all new foster parents for a two-year commitment. We hope that your home will be the last or only foster home a child will be placed in!

Yes, you can adopt from foster care. Many of our foster parents have adopted their foster kids!

Keep in mind that less than 20% of foster kids in Wisconsin are adopted. If you are specifically interested in adopting a baby or toddler we suggest contacting an adoption agency. For more information about adoption, visit AdoptUSKids.

Most foster parents have an age preference when it comes to the kids they wish to help. Because the majority of our kids are over age 5, our parents are encouraged to set a minimum age range of 10 years old and younger. In addition, our foster parents are asked to open their home to at least 2 children at a time as many of our kids are part of a sibling pair or group. It is okay to have a preference and know your limits and strengths.

It can be difficult to adopt a baby from foster care, in part because many babies are placed with a relative or are reunited with their biological family. Here at CCR, nearly 85% of our foster children are over the age of 5. Last year approximately 13% of our foster children were adopted and found their forever home! We recommend you contact an adoption agency if your wish is to adopt a baby.

Transferring is easy! We simply need your signature so we can contact your current agency and request your existing file. After review of your license, home study and placement history, we can begin the transfer. Most parts of your license will transfer which makes the process quick and easy. We transfer in many foster parents and the reasons are always the same: Lack of support and communication.
No there is not an income requirement, however, you must be able to demonstrate that you can provide for your current household with your own income without relying on the monthly foster care payment. A monthly foster parent payment is designed to cover the expenses of caring for a foster child. Read our blog: Are foster parents paid
Foster parents receive a foster care stipend designed to cover all costs associated with the care of a child. The Uniform Foster Care Rate in Wisconsin is based on a child’s age. In addition, an exceptional rate is provided for treatment level foster care based on the child's level of care and required services. Rates vary and there is not a ’typical’ amount. Our staff works with the child’s originating county to secure the best rate possible. Read our blog How Much Are Foster Parents Paid

All Wisconsin foster children are issued a Medical Assistance card at the time of placement. Foster parents are not responsible for any medical expenses, dental costs, optical expenses or prescription drugs.

No. Many foster parents live in apartments or small homes. The size of your home does not matter as long as you have an available bedroom or bed for a foster child and their belongings. Home ownership is not a foster care requirement. Many wonderful foster parents rent a home or apartment.

Yes! Kids can share. Each foster child must be provided with his or her own bed. Siblings of opposite gender may share a bedroom if under 11 years old. Unrelated foster children 6 years old or older may not share a bedroom with another child of the opposite sex. A foster child one year of age or older may not share a bedroom with an adult unless physician and agency approved. Biological children must also have their own bed in a bedroom if over 12 months old. Many of our foster families have bunk bed arrangements that work nicely.

Foster parents are part of a team. Transporting your foster child(ren) to and from visits with their biological parents is part of the "teamwork". The goal is often to return the child home, so it is important that foster parents participate in the reunification process. Often times, foster parents and biological families keep in touch after a child has returned home.

A background check and fingerprinting are required steps to become a foster parent. If you have a criminal history or have been convicted of a felony you may not qualify to be a foster parent. Each situation is different and we are happy to discuss your history with you. Often times, classes or rehabilitation are required depending on the offense. Minor traffic violations and parking tickets will not prevent you from obtaining a foster license. Our suggestion is to be honest with us up front during the initial phone call if you have any concerns at all.

A foster parent can be on disability as long as all needs of a child can be met and the disability does not prohibit the foster parent from caring for the child in any way. Keep in mind that part of the application process is demonstrating that you can financially support your household with your own financial means.

Kinship care helps support a child who is in care, either temporarily or for the long term, with a relative such as a grandparent, sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle, among others. CCR does not place children in kinship care as this is typically handled by the local county child placing agency.

Yes and no. Fostering a specific child is typically handled through a county agency. It may be a child of a friend or neighbor or a child from your local school. There are some situations when CCR can license for a specific child. Please contact us to discuss.

Your caseworker will visit your foster home EVERY week for approximately 45-50 minutes per child in the home. On that same day, she will visit the foster children at school, when school is in session or in the home when school is on break. Scheduled visits and communication aid in the healing of the children and provides critical weekly support for our foster parents.

Yes. In Wisconsin, no unloaded firearm or other dangerous weapons may be kept in a foster home unless stored and locked in an area not readily accessible to foster children. Ammunition materials and firearms shall be stored in separate locked areas that are not readily accessible to foster children. Trigger locks alone do not meet the above requirement but may be a supplemental safety measure. A weapon cabinet with a glass front is not considered secure, even if it can be locked.

Transportation to medical appointments, therapy, school activities, biological family visits, etc. is the responsibility of the foster parent. Children in foster care often have a higher frequency of appointments based on their needs.

Your foster care license is good for two years. There are required training hours that must be done during those two years which allows for the renewal of the license. Our staff will assist with ongoing training and continued education opportunities.

Yes. Wisconsin provides some protection when the foster parent’s own insurance policies do not. This is called the Foster Homes Liability Insurance Program. The state fund covers some property damage and personal injury caused by the foster child.

Foster children placed in your home will attend your local public school district. If you wish for them to attend a private school that is an option we are happy to discuss with you. Home schooling is also an option.

In addition to weekly in-home visits and a 24/7 hotline, our staff offers a plethora of resources to help you successfully care for your foster children. Check out these resources too. The Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center in Wisconsin A Campaign to Ensure Bright Futures The Annie E. Casey Foundation The Foster Care Closet in Kenosha Lakeshore Foster Families & Friends in Manitowoc
Yes and no. CCR receives approximately 40 referrals each month from counties across Wisconsin. If we feel that your home would be a nice match for a child or sibling group referred to us, we will call you to discuss. If it is determined that your home would meet the needs of the child(ren) and you are interested in pursuing the placement, an pre-placement visit will be arranged. The child(ren) will spend an overnight with you to "try it". If you believe that you can provide a healing environment then you agree to the placement. If you feel it is not the right fit for you and your family, then you may turn down the placement. It is okay! We want placements to be successful. We will never try to talk you into something or place children in your home that would not be in the best interest of all involved.
Absolutely. Most often, pets are a great addition to a foster family. Your pets will need to be up to date on vaccines and temperament of a pet will be discussed if there is a concern. Exotic pets will require an exception from the state.
If you are working full-time hours, the state of Wisconsin will pay for your foster child's licensed daycare. Keep in mind that if you are working full-time, we require a flexible schedule to meet the needs of the children. There are many appointments and obligations that come with fostering.
Here are some important questions to ask: How will you prepare me to foster? What support will I receive? How often will a worker visit my home? What is the agency employee turnover rate? Is there an emergency hotline? Is staff available after business hours? How long do foster parents stay? Call the agency. Do they answer the phone? Does a recording come on or is it a real person? How long before someone calls you back? You must imagine if you had kids in your home and you needed to reach the agency, would you be able to speak with someone?
It’s ok that I need a break

 

Foster Parents need a break and that is okay

 

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