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Wisconsin Foster Care FAQs You Need to Know

Top answers to becoming a Wisconsin foster parent.

Below are dozens of questions and answers to help you decide if becoming a foster parent is right for you and your family. We have answers on qualifying, ages, bedrooms, payments, daycare, guns, pets, and much more. If you do not find the answer you are looking for please contact us via the form below. We are happy to provide you with the foster care information you are seeking. 

Does my Wisconsin county need foster parents?

Yes! We have a severe shortage of foster parents across Wisconsin. See the 60+ Wisconsin county locations we serve.

How old are Wisconsin foster kids needing homes?

CCR places kids of all ages in foster homes across Wisconsin. Our greatest need at this time is more homes for young siblings and teens. However, foster parents can have other age preferences. Learn how children are matched with foster homes.

Can foster parents work full-time?

Yes, foster parents can work full-time. However, a flexible schedule is required to foster with CCR. Plan on 2-4 appointments each week and unplanned interruptions. Foster children may not be left home alone, and most will require additional supervision or attention due to past trauma histories. We have many foster parents working full-time, but they have flexible schedules and a dependable support system.

How much does it cost to become a Wisconsin foster parent?

There is NO cost to become a Wisconsin foster parent.

What is private foster care? How is it different?

The most significant difference between county foster care and private agency foster care is the support foster parents and kids in care receive. CCR is the only Wisconsin foster agency to provide weekly in-home support visits.

For more details about the differences read: Why choose a private agency.

How do I transfer my foster license from my county or another agency?

If you are looking for more support and transparent communication from an agency, we would love to speak with you. Transfering takes less than 6 weeks. Contact us to learn more.

Can I be a single foster parent?

Yes, single foster parents are welcome at CCR. With a flexible schedule and a good support system from family and friends, single foster parents can successfully care for kids of all ages.

Read more about Being a Single Foster Parent

Why does it take so long to get a foster license?

There are many steps to getting a foster care license, and our staff gently walks applicants through the process. It typically takes three months to complete the CCR licensing process.

Please read our blog Why Getting a Foster Care License Takes So Long.

Are foster parents paid?

Foster parents are reimbursed to cover costs associated with the care of a child. The payment is called a stipend. A child's age and needs determine the amount. Please read our blog: How Much Are Foster Parents Paid.

What is respite care?

Respite care offers foster parents a break. Think of it as babysitting for foster parents. An overnight, a weekend, or an afternoon break is essential to successful foster parenting. CCR foster parents can provide respite for each other or use a CCR-certified respite provider. Read more about respite care.

Is it possible to adopt a child through CCR?

The first goal for children in foster care is reunification with their biological family. If parental rights are terminated, and a child is legally free for adoption, foster parents will be considered an adoptive resource. Remember, less than 18% of CCR kids are adopted by their foster parents. We highly discourage fostering with the intent to adopt. Read more about adopting from foster care.

Who pays for the medical costs of foster children?

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

Are foster parents required to own a home?

CCR foster parents are not required to own their home. Rentals of all types are acceptable. However, prospective foster parents may not rely on Government-assisted housing.

Will I have to interact with the biological parents?

Foster parents are part of a team. We require our foster families to participate in the process to help reunify a child with their birth family. This may involve contact with the family during parent-child visitations, school meetings and events, court hearings, and many other instances as long as it is in the best interest of the child and foster family.

Can I choose the age of children I want to foster?

CCR asks foster parents to have a preferred age range wide enough to consider their home as a resource. A preferred age range of 2-4 is too narrow and challenging to accommodate. However, a range of 8 and under would allow more placement opportunities. Of course, we love it when foster parents offer a range of 0-18 years!

Read more about Choosing the Age of Foster Children.

Is fostering teenagers as bad as I've heard?

No! We have many foster parents caring for teens. In fact, most report it is much easier than caring for younger kids with trauma histories.

Many teens need foster parents to help them with Independent Living Skills (ILS), Cooking, shopping, laundry, applications, driver training, money management, schedules, and higher education opportunities... Caring for a foster teen is often more like mentoring or coaching than parenting.

How often does a caseworker come to my home?

Your Clinical Case Manager will visit your home once per week. (CCR is the only Wisconsin foster agency providing weekly visits) Visits are designed to provide great support to both foster parents and kids. CCR case managers have abundant experience and an average of 16 years of employment with us! That means long-term relationships and excellent communication.

Can I be a Wisconsin foster parent if I have a felony?

A background check and fingerprints are required steps to become a foster parent. Traffic violations, parking tickets, most misdemeanors, and many felonies will not prevent you from obtaining a foster license.

If you have a criminal history, don't give up just yet; even if you have a previos felony, you may qualify to be a foster parent. Contact us to discuss.

Can I foster a relative or specific child?

Fostering a relative is called Kinship care. CCR does not license homes for kinship or child-specific cases.

Where do foster children go to school?

Foster children will attend your local public school. We are happy to discuss details with you if you wish for them to attend a school of choice. Homeschooling is not allowed.

Can foster parents have guns in the home?

Yes. However, in Wisconsin, unloaded firearms or other dangerous weapons must be stored and locked in an area not readily accessible to foster children. Ammunition materials and firearms shall be stored in separate locked areas. 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.

Can foster parents operate an in-home daycare?

No. CCR foster parents may not operate an in-home daycare.

Is there insurance for foster parents?

Yes. This is called the Foster Homes Liability Insurance Program. The state fund covers some property damage and personal injury caused by the foster child.

Can foster kids go to daycare?

If you are working full-time, a flexible schedule is required to meet the needs of the children. There will be 2-4 weekly appointments, during business hours, and unplanned interruptions should be expected. Yes, kids can go to daycare depending on their emotional and behavioral needs. The state of Wisconsin will cover daycare expenses in most cases.

Can foster parents have pets?

Absolutely. Your pets will need to be up to date on vaccines, and a pet's temperament will be discussed if there is a concern. Exotic pets will require an exception from the state, which is usually not a problem.

Does my spouse/partner have to be licensed?

Yes. Foster parents identified on the license should include all adults in the home who will have caregiving responsibilities for foster children on either a part-time or full-time basis. Any household member who will act in the role of the foster parent shall sign the application. All adults residing in the home must want to be part of caring for foster children.

Can I travel with foster children?

Yes. Vacations are great for kids! International travel is also allowed!

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