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Lisa, Eau Claire County

Believe it or not, it makes us better parents to our own children. 

Foster Care FAQs

What is Treatment Foster Care?

Treatment Foster Care provides a healing environment for children who have experienced significant trauma due to prolonged abuse and/or neglect. Our foster parents reside in over 35 Wisconsin counties, providing love, hope, consistency and structure for children ages 0-18 years and sibling groups. Children are referred to CCR by county agancies when a county home is unavailable to address a child's emotional, behavioral and/or medical problems or when a county home is unavailable to keep siblings together. 

How is a private foster agency different than my county?
  • CCR is a statewide treatment foster agency. Foster families can live in any county in Wisconsin and choose to license with us. We currently have foster homes in 35 Wisconsin counties.
  • Foster children are referred to us by county agencies when a county home is unavailable to meet the higher needs of a child or sibling group. 
  • Each foster family is assigned a Master's level Case Worker who provides weekly in-home support. A case worker is available 24/7 in case of emergencies and crises. CCR foster parents receive an abundance of support services not typically provided by other foster agencies.

Read our blog: How is a private foster agency different than a county foster agency

I admit, I was nervous

The support is amazing

How long does it take to become a foster parent?

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 6-8 times per year, so the process can be started whenever you are ready to begin.

Read our blog Getting a Foster Care License

How do I qualify to be a foster parent?

The most important qualification is: Flexibility 

Foster parents must have a flexible schedule and be available to their foster children before & after school and on all school breaks. Couples can usually count on each other and many single foster parents rely on a dependable support person such as a family member to help fill in gaps when they are unavailable. Foster children come with many appointments and unforeseen circumstances will arise, it is imperative that foster parents are available or able to adjust their schedule.

For a full list of qualifiers, visit how to qualify to be a foster parent.

Read our blog: Can foster parents work fulltime?

What is the process to be a foster parent?

There are 5 easy steps to become a foster parent. 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. 

  1. A phone call with our knowledgeable, honest staff
  2. Complete an application and 6-hour online training
  3. Schedule 4 home visits with our licensing coordinator
  4. Attend 30 hours of classroom training
  5. Home study is written and submitted to state of Wisconsin

Call us to get started. We promise to answer your call promptly and provide the information you're looking for.

800-799-0450

Does it matter what county I live in?

Our foster parents can live in ANY county in Wisconsin and be a licensed foster home with us. We currently have foster homes in 35 Wisconsin counties. 

See the Wisconsin Counties we serve.

Can foster parents work full time?

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!

 

Can I be a single foster parent?

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.

Read our blog: Can I be a Single Foster Parent?

Are LGBT foster parents welcome to apply?

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. 

Why are foster kids in treatment foster care?

Treatment foster care children range in age from infant to 18, with 80% being over the age of 5. Many are sibling pairs or groups. Most children have been victims of physical and/or sexual abuse and/or prolonged neglect and have not experienced a nurturing, stable environment. Fostering these children requires patience, consistency, and a flexible schedule.

For more information on how children are scored at the treatment level learn more from the Praed Foundation.

We keep sibling groups together

Foster parent keeps sibling groups together

Is there a cost to become a foster parent in Wisconsin?

There is NO cost to become a foster parent in Wisconsin. 

 

What is the average age of foster children?

80% of children referred to us by county agencies are school-age. That means few are toddlers or younger. Many of our kids are part of a sibling pair or group, so ages can vary. Being open to fostering siblings or more than one child at a time is desirable. 

Having an age or gender preference is okay, but you must have a wide enough range that the likelyhood of placing kids in your home is possible. For example, some families prefer children age 10 and under, or boys ages 3-12, or teen girls only. We are happy to talk with you about your preferences. 

How long will a foster child be in my home?

The average time most children spend in a CCR foster home is 12-24 months. Sometimes longer. 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 foster home a child will be placed in!

Can I adopt from foster care?

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, or if your end goal is to adopt, we suggest contacting an adoption agency. For more information about adoption, visit AdoptUSKids.

Adoption costs are minimal when adopting from foster care. 

Can I choose the age of a foster child?

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. 

Can I adopt a newborn or baby from foster care?

It can be difficult to adopt a baby from foster care, in part because many babies and young children are reunited with their biological family. Here at CCR, nearly 85% of our foster children are over the age of 5. Last year 15% 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. With that said, many of our foster parents have adopted.

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

The transfer of a Wisconsin foster care license to CCR from a county or private agency is fairly simple. Many foster parents transfer because of lack of support or lack of placements. Upon receipt of your signature, we contact your current agency and request your existing file be released to us so that we can review your foster care and placement history. Most parts of your license are transferrable depending on the status which makes the process quick and easy.  We pride ourselves on unmatched support services and we rarely have unused beds.  

What is respite care?

Respite care provides a break for foster parents. It is like babysitting for foster parents for an afternoon, overnight or weekend. Respite providers are a wonderful resource to our foster parents and kids. All CCR foster parents receive 2 days of respite per month and a one week vacation annually, paid for by CCR. 

If you are unable to be a full-time foster parent, being a respite provider might be the perfect fit for you. You can help monthly, or as often as you like. A background check, paperwork, a home visit, and references are all part of becoming a respite provider. 

Read our blog: Providing Respite Care for Foster Parents

Is there an income requirement to provide foster care?

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. 

Foster parents do receive a monthly stipend. This payment is designed to cover the expenses of caring for a foster child.

Read our blog: Are foster parents paid

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 at treatment level 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

Who pays for 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 any medical expenses, dental costs, optical expenses or prescription drugs.

Must I own a large home to be a foster parent?

Home ownership is not a foster care requirement. Many wonderful foster parents rent a home or apartment. The size of your home does not matter as long as you have an available bedroom or bed for a foster child. 

 

Can foster kids share a bedroom?

Each foster child shall be provided with his or her own bed. Sibings 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. 

 

 

Will I have to interact with the biological parents?

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.

Is a criminal background check required to be a foster parent?

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 crime you may not qualify to be a foster parent. Each situation is different and we will review your history in detail. Often times, classes or rehabilitation are required depending on the offense. Minor traffic violations and parking tickets should not prevent you from obtaining a foster license. In addition, depending on how old the incident is, it may not be an issue. Our suggestion is to be honest with us up front during the initial phone call if you have any concerns at all. 

 

Can I be a foster parent if I am on disability?

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. Part of the application process is demonstrating that you can financially support your household with your own financial means. 

Can I foster a relative, grandchild, niece or nephew?

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. Kinship foster care creates another placement option for a child who may not be able to continue living at home with his or her parents. CCR does not place children in kinship care as this is typically handled by the local county child placing agency.

Is there a foster care need in my county?

No matter what county you live in, Wisconsin has a need for more foster parents. County agencies refer children to CCR everyday! We currently have licensed foster homes in over 35 Wisconsin counties and we are always looking for loving homes. 

Click here to see if your Wisconsin county needs foster homes.

How often does a caseworker come to my home?

One Clinical Case Manager (CCM) is assigned to every foster home. He or she visits the foster home EVERY week for approximately 45-50 minutes per child in the home. On that same day, the CCM will visit the foster children at school, when school is in session or in the home when school is on break. If there are multiple children placed in the home from different families, there is only one CCM assigned to the foster home. This creates seamless communication, aids in the healing of the children and provides critical weekly support for our foster parents. 

 

 

Can foster parents have guns in the home?

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.

 

Who takes the foster kids to appointments?

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

 

How long is my foster care license good for?

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. 

 

Is there liability insurance for foster parents?

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. 

 

Where do foster children go to school?

Foster children placed in your home will attend your local school district. 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation 

It’s ok that I need a break

Foster Parents need a break and that is okay

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