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Wisconsin Foster Care FAQs

Wisconsin foster parents can choose to work with their county or a private foster agency. CCR foster parents can live in any county and all new foster parents are licensed at Level 2, basic foster care just like county agencies.Kids are referred to CCR when a county home is unavailable to meet their needs or when a county is unable to place siblings together. We specialize in helping kids heal from trauma.All CCR foster parents receive weekly in-home visits and all foster kids receive necessary support services. (County home visits are monthly) We also are available to our parents 24/7. Promised!CCR offers treatment level foster care, Levels 3 and 4. With experience and training, many CCR foster parents choose to move to Level 3 or 4 to care for children with higher levels of trauma that develops from prolonged abuse and/or neglect. The majority of our kids are ages 6-18.Foster parents currently licensed with their county or another private agency may transfer their license at any time to CCR. The process takes approximately 8 weeks.

For more details about the difference between a county foster agency and CCR, please read our blog 5 Facts About Wisconsin Foster Care
The greatest need we have at this time is more foster homes for kids ages 10-18. To help these kids heal we require a flexible schedule, an adult at home when the kids are home, and a desire to accept siblings or 2-4 kids at one time.Sounds terrifying maybe but that is truly where the need is at this time and we promise all our support and in-home services to you and your foster kids. We are turning away referrals left and right from counties all over the state because we don't have homes for older kids.Talk to us. Let us tell you what it will honestly look like. What are the kids like? What will be expected of you? How will we help you to help the kids?CCR is proud to be the most honest and transparent foster agency out there. We have families that have been caring for teens for years! One family has been with us for 30 years helping teen girls. You can talk with them, learn from them, so you can explore what fostering teens is all about.Call us anytime to start learning. We will explain so much in just one phone call.
Qualifying to be a Wisconsin foster parent is easier than you might think. The two most important requirements are having a flexible schedule and a stable home environment. Foster kids will have weekly appointments and unplanned interruptions occur often. Yes, you can work full-time but flexibility is definitely required. Having an adult available before and after school, during school breaks, and over summer vacation is important to providing a stable home environment.For a full list of qualifiers, visit how to qualify to be a foster parent.Read our blog: Can foster parents work full-time?
It typically takes 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 after an approved application, background checks, and one home visit. The new foster parent process can be started at any time and our staff will gently guide you through each step along the way so you are prepared and confident to accept your first placement.Read our blog Getting a Foster Care License
Yes! We need foster homes in most ALL Wisconsin counties. Our foster parents can live in ANY county and receive all our promised services. We currently have foster homes in 35 Wisconsin counties yet sadly, we cannot place all of the children referred to us. We always need homes for kids ages 6-18 and sibling groups.See the Wisconsin Counties we serve.

There are 5 easy steps to become a foster parent. The process takes 3-4 months and we will hold your hand through it all to make sure you are comfortable and understand all the steps of getting a foster care license. The first step is to call us. We believe a private, honest conversation is the best way to get you the information you need. CCR does not offer generic information sessions.


Yes, there are a small number of CCR foster parents that work full-time. Most are two parent homes with schedules that work well together providing the flexibility required. Our kids need an adult at home before & after school, during school breaks, and on summer vacation.Daycare is not always a viable option for many CCR foster kids and older kids cannot be left home alone or with an older child supervising. The kids need you to be present and home when they are home.Please read our blog Can Foster Parents Work Full-time?
Absolutely, you can be a single foster parent! Singles with flexible schedules and a great support system are highly encouraged to foster. Keep in mind, an adult must be available before and after school, during school breaks, and on summer vacation. If you work an 8-5 type job, year round without flexibility, fostering with CCR will be very difficult.Read our blog: Can I be a Single Foster Parent?
Yes! Community Care Resources welcomes all from the LGBT community to explore fostering with us. 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.Please feel comfortable calling us to discuss your interest in fostering.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.

The average age of a foster child at CCR is 10. We rarely place kids under age 5 and our greatest need is foster homes for kids ages 8-18. Being open to fostering siblings or more than one child at a time is highly desirable.

Having an age or gender preference is okay and encouraged, just keep in mind the need in Wisconsin right now is for school age kids and teens. We are happy to talk with you about your preferences.

The average time most children spend in a CCR foster home is 12-24 months. A child may stay in foster care until he or she is reunited with family, ages out of the system, is adopted, or other reasons. 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 15% of foster kids in Wisconsin are adopted by their foster parents. If you are specifically interested in adopting we suggest contacting an adoption agency. For more information about adoption, visit AdoptUSKids.

Yes. Most foster parents have an age preference when it comes to the kids they wish to help. The vast majority of our kids are over age 6 so if younger kids interest you, we request that you are open to helping kids up to age 12. Having a wide range also helps us to place siblings together.

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. We rarely place babies here at CCR. If adopting a newborn or baby is your desire, we recommend you contact an adoption agency.

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.Transferring your license will take approximately 6-8 weeks.
No, there is not an income requirement, however, you must be able to provide for your current household with your own income, however big or small that is. In other words, if you can consistently pay your bills every month and are financially stable then it does not matter at all what your income is.
Foster parents receive a foster care stipend designed to cover 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 kids who require more care or supervision.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 medical expenses, dental costs, optical expenses or prescription drugs.

Yes. 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.

Yes! Kids can share, however, no foster child 6 years of age or older may 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 and many kids share rooms.

Yes, foster parents are part of a team. Transporting your foster child(ren) to and from visits with their biological family is part of the "teamwork". CCR foster parents do not supervise these visits, nor are they required to stay for the visit. If the goal is to return a child home, it is important that foster parents participate in the reunification process and support the biological parents. Often times, foster parents and biological families keep in touch after a child has returned home and have lifetime relationships.

A background check and fingerprinting 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 been convicted of a felony you may qualify to be a foster parent. Not all felonies will ban you from fostering. Each situation is different and we are happy to discuss your concerns and/or history with you in confidence.

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 financial stability, that you can financially support your household & pay your monthly bills consistently.

This is called Kinship care. A relative such as a grandparent, sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle, among others caring for relatives in foster care. CCR does NOT license homes for kinship. If you are interested in caring for a relative, please call your local county agency

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.CCR does not license kinship homes. (Relatives caring for relatives in foster care)

Your caseworker will visit your home every week for approximately 45-50 minutes per child in the home. (County foster agencies provide monthly visits) On that same day, he/she will visit the foster children either in your home or at school. Visits are designed to provide an abundance of support to both parents and kids.

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, school activities, and 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 homeowners' 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, or the district in which you are employed, we are happy to discuss details with you.

In addition to weekly in-home visits and a 24/7 call line, 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 WisconsinA Campaign to Ensure Bright FuturesThe Annie E. Casey Foundation The Foster Care Closet in KenoshaLakeshore Foster Families & Friends in Manitowoc
Yes. 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, a 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.
No! Teens in foster care really get a bad rap. We have lots of foster parents caring for teens. They love the teens and they truly believe it is often much easier than caring for younger kids with trauma.Many teens need foster parents to help them with Independent Living Skills (ILS) Cooking, shopping, laundry, applications, drivers training, money management, schedules, higher education opportunities... Most will require therapy to work through their childhood trauma and struggles. Many teens need help with school, truancy, and time management. All teens in foster care need an adult or two they can trust and that will accept them and help them learn, heal, and grow into productive, healthy young adults.Providing stability for a teen is the most important thing. Structure has been lacking in their world so creating schedules, rules, and routines is important. Extra curricular activities and exposure to new things is great for teens.Remember, there are different levels of care. Most kids are a level 3 or 4. Level 4 homes require more experience and training.It is advised that teen boys have their own bedrooms, while two teen girls can share a room if need be. Each home is supported by a Clinical Case Manager and a Therapist, together they visit the foster home on a weekly basis providing support services and therapy. Both individual, group, and family therapy are provided.With services from our sister organization Community Care Programs - a Mental Health Clinic for kids and adolescents, we have had enormous success with teens in care.The key is SUPPORT and working with a highly experienced team. We offer both and hope that you might consider contacting us for more details about fostering teens.
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, meaning paperwork.
Yes. The state of Wisconsin will pay for your foster child's licensed daycare dependent on the number of hours you work each week. "Wisconsin Shares" is the daycare program you must work through. Keep in mind that if you are working full-time, we require a flexible schedule to meet the needs of the children and attend frequent appointments scheduled during business hours.https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/wishares/parents/foster
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 the staff available after business hours? How long do foster parents stay?Excellent communication and responsiveness with an agency will be a significant factor in your success as a foster parent. The 2 complaints we hear most from licensed foster parents interested in transferring with counties or other private agencies are:Lack of communication and no support services for the kids or foster parents.
Yes. We encourage you to include your foster children when traveling. Traveling out of state for more than 48 hours simply requires discussion with your Case Manager and travel forms be completed. International travel is also allowed.
A level 2, basic, foster home can have up to 8 children in the home. This includes any biological or adopted children currently living with you. A level 3 home can have up to 6 children in the home at one time. A level 4 home can have 4 foster kids in the home.

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