Karen, Winnebago County

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Wisconsin Foster Care FAQs

The biggest difference between county foster care and private foster care is SUPPORT. Support for both kids and foster parents. CCR is a statewide agency, which means our foster parents can live in any county and foster with us. We are one of the largest private agencies in Wisconsin and best known for providing outstanding services to children with trauma histories. Kids are referred to us when a county home is unavailable for any reason or when a county is unable to place siblings together. We offer basic level 2 foster care and treatment levels 3 and 4. All of our kids have a treatment plan designed to help them heal from trauma and the growth and progress our kids make are astounding! Our attentiveness and availability to each of our foster families set us apart from other agencies. We provide weekly in-home support visits (not monthly) and we respond immediately when you need us, 24/7. We promise. Our staff loves their work and we have an impressive average length of employment of 15 years! 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 to license new homes wishing to care for school-age kids, sibling groups, and teens. To help kids heal from trauma histories we require a flexible schedule with an adult at home when the kids are home, (think school schedules). We especially need homes willing to accept siblings or 2-3 kids at one time. Call us anytime to learn more. No need to attend an info session. Get the information you need right on the phone.
Yes! We need foster homes in most ALL Wisconsin counties for all ages of kids between 3-18. Our foster parents can live in any county, receive all our promised services, and get weekly in-home support. See the Wisconsin Counties we serve.
It typically takes 4 months to complete the CCR foster care licensing process. Much of the timing depends on how quickly paperwork is completed and returned to us. The rumors are true, there is a lot of paperwork but we walk you through it in small amounts so as not to be overwhelmed. Applicants always know the steps and what to expect next. Our team will gently hold your hand through the entire process. CCR new foster parent training takes place after an approved application, passing of background checks, and at least one home visit. Read our blog Getting a Foster Care License
The two most important requirements are having a flexible schedule and a stable home environment. Foster kids need you home when they are home and they thrive in a stable home that can provide structure and routines. There will be weekly appointments and unplanned interruptions occur often. Yes, you can work full-time but flexibility is required. Having an adult available before and after school, during school breaks, and over summer vacation is required and important to provide opportunities for growth and healing. 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 first step is to call us and pre-qualify. We will answer your questions and give you all the details needed to take the first step. The 30 hours of classroom training is scheduled after a home visit, background checks and references are completed.


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 due to heightened behaviors, emotions, and required supervision, 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?
There is NO cost to become a foster parent in Wisconsin.
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.
The average time most children spend in a CCR foster home is 12-24 months. Community Care Resources does not offer emergency or short-term foster placements, thus 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. Most foster parents have an age preference when it comes to the kids they wish to help. The majority of our kids are over age 4 so if younger kids interest you, we request that foster parents are open to helping kids ages 12 & under. Having a wider range also helps us to keep siblings together. CCR rarely places babies or toddlers. Occasionally a sibling group may include a little one but it is not common.

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. Kids must have at least 40 square feet of space each. Many of our foster families have bunk bed arrangements that work nicely and many kids share rooms.

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.

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.

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.
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, 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.

Yes. The state of Wisconsin will pay for your foster child's licensed daycare dependent on the number of hours you work each week. Keep in mind that if you are working full-time, a flexible schedule is required to meet the needs of the children. There are frequent appointments, 2-3 each week, scheduled during business hours. https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/wishares/parents/foster

Your clinical case manager 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.

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

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 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. 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.

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.

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)

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.

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.

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.
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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