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Vera, Winnebago County

Every one of my kids has made me who I am today and for that I thank them!

Foster Care FAQs

What is Treatment Foster Care?

Treatment Foster Care provides a foster home with a healing environment for children with complex needs who have experienced significant trauma. Our foster parents provide consistency and structure for sibling groups, elementary ages 5-12, and teenagers  Children are placed in a home based on behaviors, emotional trauma, and/or medical needs and the experience level and interests of the foster family. Children are referred to Community Care Resources by Wisconsin county agencies when a county home is unavailable. Foster parents can live in ANY Wisconsin county and be a foster parent with us. 

 Do you qualify to be a foster parent?  

For more information on parenting a child with significant trauma, read more here

What are the requirements to be a foster parent?

Provide the foster care Wisconsin needs! Become a treatment level foster parent by meeting the following requirements:

  • Resident of Wisconsin
  • 25 years or older (CCR will consider 21+ if a spouse is 25 or over)
  • A very flexible schedule, including before/after school, during school breaks and summer vacation
  • Sufficient income for the needs of your current family
  • Stable, healthy relationships with spouse, family, friends. People you can count on.
  • Bed and adequate space and storage for personal belongings
  • Background check including the release of convictions, restraining orders, domestic violence and any records held by the Department of Human Services.

Read more: qualify to be a foster parent.

How is Community Care Resources different than my county?

We are a statewide treatment foster agency with foster homes in over 35 Wisconsin counties. Foster parents can live in any county in Wisconsin and be licensed with us.  Children are referred to us by the county of their origin when a county foster home is unavailable to meet their needs. Kids in treatment foster care generally range in age from 3-18 years and have experienced significant trauma. Many are sibling pairs or groups. Learn if you qualify to be a foster parent with us.

These are specific ways Community Care Resources is different than most county agencies. 

  • WEEKLY in-home visits  *counties generally provide monthly visits
  • BI-WEEKLY school visits  *typically not offered by county agencies
  • MASTERS level Clinical Case Managers  *CCR requires all social workers have a Master's degree
  • TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE TRAINING   *continuous training is required
  • MEET THE KIDS prior to accepting a placement   *No late night drop offs or emergency placements
  • LOW EMPLOYEE TURNOVER.  *Case Managers average 15 years of employment with CCR!
  • PAID RESPITE!   *2 days every month, and a PAID vacation annually
  • 24-HOUR HOTLINE  *Our own Clinical Case Managers answer your calls
  • CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST AND THERAPISTS ON STAFF

Read more about our Foster Parent Support Services

 

What is the process to become a foster parent?

Becoming a foster parent with Community Care Resources typically takes 3-4 months. An initial phone conversation will allow us to confirm basic foster care qualifications can be met, explore the details of fostering kids in treatment level care and answer all of your foster care questions. Paperwork, background check, fingerprinting, home visits and 36 hours of foster parent training are all required steps towards getting a foster care license. We do not offer info sessions or orientations as we believe a one on one conversation is the best way for you to get the information you are looking for. Please call us 1-800-799-0450  

How long does it take to become a foster parent?

It typically takes 3-4 months to get a foster care license. 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.

Does it matter what county I live in?

Our foster parents can live in any county in Wisconsin and be a licensed foster parent with us. We are a statewide, private foster agency, able to license and place children in your home no matter where you live. We have foster homes in more than 35 Wisconsin counties. We provide in-home support to all of our foster parents on a weekly basis! 

The steps to become a foster parent are here.

Can foster parents work full time?

Foster parents can work full time, however, you must have flexibility in your schedule, be available before and after school, and have a plan in place for school breaks, summer break, and unplanned truancy or illness. Having an adult available at all times is very important.

If you don't have the flexibility required to be a full-time foster parent, please consider becoming a respite care provider. Our foster parents and the kids in care often need a break. It's like babysitting for foster kids!

 

Can I be a single foster parent?

Being a single foster parent is possible. Singles with a support system are highly encouraged to consider fostering. However, we require all of our foster parents to have a flexible schedule to meet the higher level needs of our children. This means having a designated back-up person for before and after school, unplanned illness and/or truancy as well as holiday breaks and summer vacation. 

Read our blog on being a single foster parent.

Read how to qualify to become a foster parent.

Are same sex foster parents and LGBTQ welcome?

Community Care Resources welcomes all from the LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ foster parents in Wisconsin over our 30 years, many of whom have adopted their foster children. We also have LGBTQ youth in foster care that requires foster parents who are compassionate and understanding of their specific needs.

This factsheet provided by ChildWelfare.gov is designed to answer some of the initial questions LGBTQ 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 21, with 80% being over the age of 5. They have suffered emotional stress due to significant trauma and exhibit behaviors and emotions which require additional supervision and care by foster parents. 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.

  • If you are interested in fostering babies and children between the ages of 0-4 years you may wait for some time before a child is placed in your home. We typically see this age group only when part of a sibling pair or group.

 

What is the average age of foster children?

85% of children referred to Community Care Resources are over the age of 5. That means only 15% are toddlers and very few are babies. We ask all of our foster parents to be open to accepting children that are at least 10 years old and younger. In addition, many of our kids are part of a sibling group, so being open to fostering more than one child at a time is desirable. We have many school-age children and teenagers in foster care that would love a safe foster home and a place to belong. 

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 through foster care?

Yes, you can adopt from foster care. Many of our foster parents have adopted their kids and built beautiful families over the years. Most often, the goal is to return foster children to their biological family. In the event that parental rights are terminated, a child or sibling group may become available for adoption. We have had numerous adoptions at CCR with most children being over the age of 3. Keep in mind that less than 20% of foster kids are adopted. If you are interested in adopting a baby or toddler, we suggest contacting an adoption agency. For more information about adoption, visit AdoptUSKids.

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

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. 

Must I own a home to be a foster parent?

Home ownership is not a foster care requirement. Many wonderful foster parents rent a home or apartment.

 

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.

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 foster kids share a bedroom?

Each foster child shall be provided with his or her own bed; however, two brothers or two sisters under 12 years old may share a double size bed or larger. 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.  Many of our foster families have bunk bed arrangements that work nicely. 

 

 

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.  

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.

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. 

 

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. Our respite providers are a wonderful resource to our foster parents and the kids look forward to getting a break as well. Wonderful relationships are formed between kids and respite providers. 

A background check, paperwork, a home visit, and references are all part of becoming a respite provider. 

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.  

Is there a foster care need in my county?

No matter what county you live in, Wisconsin has a need for more foster parents. Children of all ages enter foster care in every county in the state. CCR has licensed foster homes in over 30 counties in Wisconsin and we are always looking for qualified 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. 

 

What resources are available to foster parents?

The Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center (FCARC) offers a variety of resources:

 A Campaign to Ensure Bright Futures for kids in foster care (CHAMPS) 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation 

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Apr
30
Tue
6:30 pm Janesville Foster Parent Informa... @ Basics Cooperative
Janesville Foster Parent Informa... @ Basics Cooperative
Apr 30 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Please join us in Janesville to learn the details of becoming a foster parent. Call or email Jane to register today. Topics covered will be: How to qualify to be a foster parent, The process of getting[...]
May
13
Mon
all-day New Foster Parent Training
New Foster Parent Training
May 13 – May 14 all-day
Do you qualify to be a foster parent with us? We would love to speak with you about attending our upcoming training class for new foster parents!

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