Being a treatment foster parent requires a flexible schedule and a flexible household. Helping foster children who have experienced significant trauma brings amazing rewards and challenges. Based on your personal and/or professional experiences, you most likely have great things to offer children who find themselves in foster care. The decision to open your heart and home to foster children in need can be difficult and we know you have many questions. The good news is, we have answers and are here to help you. We ask all new foster parents for a two-year commitment but nearly all of our foster parents choose to stay on for many years and some are able to adopt their foster kids.
Will I qualify to be a foster parent
- Resident of Wisconsin
- 25 years or older (CCR will consider 21+ if a spouse is 25 or over)
- Sufficient income for the needs of your current family
- Stable, healthy relationships with spouse, family, friends. People you can count on.
- A parent/adult available at all times (see “What if I work full time” below for more details)
- 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.
Making the commitment to become a foster parent.
- Why do I want to be a foster parent? To give back, spiritual reasons, rooms to spare, make a difference, love kids…
- Is my relationship with my spouse or partner healthy and strong? Fostering can add stress to a relationship. Couples must be a united front and support each other during challenges and frustrations.
- How will I prepare and support my biological children? Biological kids experience an array of emotions as foster siblings come and go. Open communication and honest conversations are vital. Allowing your children, to be honest about their feelings and helping them work through their emotions is critical for the entire family.
- Will my extended family and friends support my decision? Many stereotypes plague foster children and many people have strong feelings about the types of kids that come into care. Be realistic about your expectations of those close to you.
- Will I commit to parenting with patience and consistency, using the tools and skills learned in our training? The stories you hear are probably accurate. Fostering traumatized youth is unpredictable and often difficult but incredibly rewarding.
Your commitment and patience will allow them room to heal and grow.
Do we have flexibility and time? A flexible schedule is mandatory. Interruptions, schedule changes, appointments, therapy, biological family visits, and school truancy are all part of fostering at the treatment level.
Do I have a support system in place? You cannot be a foster parent alone. You will need support from family and friends.
- Will I make time for myself? Taking good care of one’s self is vital to the care of the children. Do you have an outlet to allow for necessary breaks? Exercise, hobbies, time with friends?
- Are we financially stable? Is your current income sufficient to run your household and care for your family? Foster parents receive a stipend to meet the needs of the child in care. Parents are not allowed to use the stipend as part of household budgeting.
- How will I handle saying goodbye? Loving someone means taking a risk. You WILL attach to the children in your care. That’s a good thing for you and the children. If they can trust and attach to you, they will be able to take those skills into future relationships. Managing the loss of foster children is personal and will be difficult. Many parents say that the goodbyes make them stronger. For many, relationships continue after the child leaves.
Remember, we are here to support you! You will not walk alone in your foster care journey. We Promise. CONTACT US