Exploring how to become a foster parent in Wisconsin? Did you recently discover that you have options beyond your county foster care agency? Yes, you have a choice in Wisconsin, foster with your county OR choose a private foster agency. To make choosing a private agency simple, it does not matter what county you reside in. The differences between the two can be subtle at a glance but when you learn the number one reason that makes a private agency different, your choice may be clear.
Just because a business has a brick and mortar building in your community or county, does not mean that resources or support will be available when you need them. There are many reasons to shop local, but foster care is not one of them. Although a private agency may not have a physical office building nearby, all agencies like CCR serve a broader region with experienced staff in place so foster parents can rely on the benefits of local support.
We have foster homes in 36 counties across Wisconsin and our home office is located in Dane County. Our foster parents can live anywhere in Wisconsin and those locations are vast. Why do folks in Eau Claire, Kenosha, Winnebago, Milwaukee, Dane, and dozens of other counties decide to license with CCR? How can we possibly give them local support and services? More on that in a minute.
A large part of your decision should consider the age of children you wish to help, their level of need, and what happens AFTER a child or sibling group is placed in your home. What will the agency do to support you and your foster children? Just because an agency is local in your home county does not mean that services will be plentiful and staff will be available.
If you believe that you must license with your county because you will be visiting the offices regularly, you are mistaken. Foster parents rarely, if ever, have reason to visit their foster agency office.
No empty promises here! We are very transparent about what foster parents should expect when they choose to license with us.
For 31 years we have been providing our foster parents with an abundance of support. The attention we give to each and every one of our foster homes is second to none. Support services are the reason so many foster parents choose us and why they stay. In fact, the average CCR foster family fosters with us for a staggering 6.7 years! In the foster care world that is impressive and unheard of. We have one couple, Dan and Colleen, that have been with us since our agency opened 31 years ago! Why do they stay? Why don't they burn out quickly as so many foster parents do? We'll tell you.
County foster parents typically receive a monthly visit from their caseworker. Sadly, a lot can go off course in a month. At CCR we provide each of our foster families with a WEEKLY in-home visit.It does not matter where you live. As mentioned above, we have foster homes in Dane, Eau Claire, Kenosha, Winnebago, and 30 other counties. Our foster parents stay with us because of the support we provide. They depend on the Case Manager's experience and expertise in trauma-informed care. CCR foster parents know that the same Case Manager will show up each and every week and there will never be a revolving door of caseworkers. Remember employee retention is something we are incredibly proud of and our average length of employment is 15+ years!
The in-home visits are designed to address challenges, get excited about the progress, discuss any weekly happenings, talk about behaviors, and much more. Case Managers spend each visit focusing on how to effectively support each family, including foster parents, biological or adopted kids, and most importantly, the foster children.
It is through these weekly visits that our foster parents get the support and resources they need. In addition, each of our Case Managers is required to have a Master's degree in Social Work. CCR is the only Wisconsin Foster Care Agency with this employment requirement. The education and level of experience of our Case Managers are critical if we want healing to happen. The children require the clinical aspect and our employees offer that and so much more.
In addition to in-home visits, our Case Managers meet with the children at their school too. Visiting with the kids on a regular basis means the kids have another adult to trust and bond with. A qualified professional to help meet them where they are and take the necessary steps to allow for healing from trauma histories to happen. Here is a testimonial from Kayleigh who spent time with long-time foster parents Dan and Colleen.
My foster parents, Colleen and Dan, (with CCR for 30 years) taught me so much about myself, and I am forever thankful. My case manager, Ms. Wanda, (at CCR for 24 years) almost always said something I didn’t like. LOL. But all of those things that she said really helped me shape how I want to live the rest of my life. I knew that the best way for me to fulfill my future was to work through my past and what I went through. They all helped me do that! These three people are the main reasons why I am where I am in life, and it was the greatest gift I could have ever been given.
We hear from county foster parents on a regular basis interested in transferring their license to CCR. The common theme is a lack of support and communication. Just this week, a foster mom licensed with her county requested the necessary paperwork to transfer. She and her husband have been foster parents for 9 years and continue to be frustrated. A few days ago she met a neighbor that is licensed with CCR who told her she had options other than the county. She had no idea! The transfer paperwork was sent out immediately, she returned it the same day and the county has already received the request for transfer. That is how quickly it can happen.
Support, communication, and responsiveness are what foster parents crave. Being left to fend for themselves can be typical for foster parents but it doesn't have to be and it's not the case here at CCR. We take great pride in the attention we give each of our families. Our dedicated staff is truly grateful for the amazing families we have on board. We treat each one with respect and we are humbled by their years of dedication to kids in need.
If you are interested in speaking with us to learn more, please contact us. We would be thrilled if you explored joining our family!