- What is Foster Care
Foster care is a temporary, court-ordered placement outside of a child’s own home. It can last anywhere from one night to a few years, depending on individual circumstances. Safety and permanency for our children are our primary focus. The biological parent is still the child’s legal guardian, but the Monroe County Department of Human Services becomes the legal custodian of the child until he or she can be returned home to a safe environment.
Some foster children are freed for adoption when our best efforts to safely reunite them with their families are not successful. Some choose not to be adopted but to stay in foster care until they are ready to plan a transition into the community, which can be anywhere from age 18-21.
- How to Become a Foster Parent
Becoming a foster parent takes time, but is an interesting and rewarding journey. We work with you to make the process as easy as possible. The first step in the certification process is to attend an information session. The information sessions are offered virtually through zoom on a weekly basis. You can sign up for a session by visiting the "start here" tab in the menu on the top of this website. Once you complete the session an application will be mailed to you. If interested – complete it, with references, and return it to the County by mail. A pre-addressed envelope is provided in your packet. Monroe County then completes a local child abuse clearance and if cleared, you will be contacted by phone by a caseworker to schedule a visit to your home. If you all agree that foster parenting may be for you, you will be enrolled in a 10-session training class called MAPP (Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting). Halfway through the class, a second home visit will be scheduled with your caseworker. You then continue and complete the training class at which time a final home visit will be made out to your home. After a mutual assessment of readiness, then your caseworker completes your home study and you’re certified to welcome children into your home.
- Why Become a Foster Parent
There are many children in our community (Monroe County, NY) who need safe, secure, loving homes. If you become a foster parent, you will have an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of these children today and in the future. The rewards are rich.
- Who Can Become a Foster Parent?
You can be a foster parent whether you’re male or female, married or single, and rent or own a home or apartment. You must be a Monroe County, NY resident, and at least 21 years of age, but there is no maximum age limit as long as you’re healthy and able to actively parent a child. And you can be a foster parent even if you work outside of the home. Also, there is no minimum income requirement, but you are required to submit verification that your income meets your needs so you are not relying on the foster care stipend for financial support.
If you have a love for children and a desire to make a difference, consider investing your time and energy in our community’s children.