mydailyregister.com

Reader answers common questions about foster parenting

Alex Hawleyahawley@heartlandpublications.com

September 7, 2012

To our Community Members,


Have you ever wondered what you could do to help out someone in need? Here is your chance to learn more about foster care and becoming a foster parent.


Each year, there are about 12,000 children in foster care in Ohio. Youth are placed in foster care for a variety of reasons. We, at Transitions for Youth, are lucky enough to get to work with these youth and help them learn the tools they need to make a change in their lives. Our goal is to provide the best possible services to the foster children, and that starts with placing them with our foster parents. Many people have questions about foster care but don’t know where or how to get the answers. Here are our most frequently asked questions.


How do I become a foster parent? To become a foster parent the following items are needed: an application, criminal background check, home study, financial statement, medical statement and references from three people who are not related to you.


What are the requirements of a foster parent? Foster parents must be at least 21 years old, have sufficient income to meet the needs of the household, be in good health and have no criminal record for violent or sexual crimes or crimes against children. You must also complete 36 hours of pre-service training and then 60 hours every two years. We offer the required foster parent training hours as well as support at biweekly meetings.


What do I get for being a foster parent? While we provide reimbursement for the basic care of the youth, we also provide a mileage allowance for transporting the child to medical appointments, a stipend for clothing, as well as birthday and Christmas gifts. Most important is the reward of knowing that you are helping these youth at a time when they need it most.


What do you look for in a foster parent? Marital status is not a factor when licensing a home, although, we would need a copy of marriage license or divorce decree, if applicable. Also, foster parents can rent or be a home owner. Our foster parents are a diverse group of people. Some have young children, while others have children who are grown with their own families. Some have larges homes, while others have small. The size of the home does not matter as long as you are able to provide appropriate arrangements for the children placed in your home. Each person is unique and has experiences to share with these youth.


Transitions for Youth is a non-profit foster care agency located in Gallia County. We have foster homes in Gallia, Jackson and Meigs counties. We are currently looking for people in this area who would like to become foster parents. The need for homes in southeastern Ohio is huge. We receive calls daily looking to place a child with us and we need you to help us fulfill that need. Are you willing to make a commitment to helping a child in need? Give us a call today at 740-446-7239 or visit our website www.transitionsforyouth.net for more information on becoming a foster parent with us.


Selina Mitchell


Independent Living Specialist,


Transitions for Youth