Frequently asked questions
A.The application process involves five or six conveniently scheduled visits to your home over a 10- to 12-week period of time. Staff members gather paperwork, interview all family members, inspect the home for safety and fully explain the responsibilities of foster parenting. Our careful screening process helps you determine whether or not foster parenting is right for you, and, if yes, helps us match just the right child to your home.
A.Generally, our most successful foster parents are open-minded, dependable, patient and willing to learn new parenting styles for children with different needs. Having a flexible schedule, being tolerant of change and demonstrating the ability to follow our guidelines are all important qualities for success.
Q. What is this new KidsPeace Model of foster care I'm hearing about?
A. KidsPeace has developed an approach to foster care that is new and unique, yet proven by experience and research. It helps our foster children become more resilient while addressing their individual circumstances, challenges and the trauma they have experienced. One important part of this is "Together Facing the Challenge", a set of tools, techniques, and training. We try to incorporate a focus on resiliency into everything we do.
A.Yes, in some states, you will be required to be licensed, and in other states, you’ll just need special training. In either case, we’ll provide everything you will need, including: orientation to the program, ongoing trainings, regular in-person support, twenty-four hour on-call support availability and other tools to help you learn and develop your skills along the way.
A.This varies depending on the needs of the child and the circumstances of his or her placement. Some children are returned home after only a few months; others after a year or so. Sometimes, children who can’t go home become eligible for adoption; others remain in foster care until age 18.
A.Children are placed through child protective agencies across your state. They may enter your home directly from their family of origin’s home, another foster home or from a more restrictive setting such as a residential facility.
A.When it comes to foster children, one size does not fit all. There’s no typical foster child: some kids are stepping down from residential treatment; some have developmental delays; some have suffered unspeakable abuse; some have never been required to follow the rules of society; some have built walls around themselves to keep out the hurt; and some have lost their beloved homes and families. Most will undergo counseling and therapy while in foster care. It won’t be easy to help a child who has known such pain and upheaval, but we’ll train you extensively on how to handle the specific needs of your foster child.
A.No. Before placement, KidsPeace will present you with available information about the child we believe “matches” with your household. You may request additional information, and you may always accept or reject a child’s placement. Saying “no” does not affect our willingness to call you about other children in the future. We respect your right to do what you think is best for your family.
A.Sometimes. If time allows, we try to arrange pre-placement visits so you can meet ahead of time. In many cases, however, a child’s need for a foster home is urgent, and you won’t be able to meet your foster child until he or she arrives at your door.
A.Yes, KidsPeace provides compensation to cover room and board costs of foster children. Your local office can explain the current rate structure and payment system. This money is provided to cover such expenses as food, clothing, shelter, transportation, recreation and allowance, and should not be considered income. You will not be responsible for your foster child’s medical costs. KidsPeace does not have a minimum income requirement. However, your income must be earned and should be sufficient to meet the financial needs of your family.
A.All children are influenced by the behaviors and attitudes of other people, whether these individuals are friends at school, neighbors, or foster children. If your children understand your expectations and have a sense of appropriate behavior and values, it is unlikely that they will be adversely influenced.
A.No. Children of the same sex are permitted to share bedrooms provided that the foster child has space for personal belongings and opportunities for privacy. Children are not allowed to share the same bed. The bedroom designated for the foster child must have a door for privacy and a window to allow for ventilation and a second means of escape in case of emergency.
A.When the goal is to eventually reunite the family, visits are crucial to help the child maintain a sense of belonging and identity. Visitation schedules vary and may be scheduled once a week or once or twice a month. You’ll be asked to transport the child to visits, which are generally held in a supervised office setting.
A.KidsPeace has an impeccable reputation for the support we provide our foster children and families. We maintain frequent, consistent contact, and we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year to support and guide you.
A.So that you don’t get overwhelmed, we provide respite care, both on a regular schedule and on an emergency basis. At KidsPeace, we recognize that sometimes placements fail despite everyone’s best efforts. If the situation becomes unworkable, we will move the child to another home.
A.Your current parenting style will determine how much of an adjustment you will need to make to follow our guidelines. Our policies and guidelines are designed to protect both you and your foster children. We only allow appropriate, non-physical methods of discipline, such as removing privileges, giving “time outs” and using rewards, encouragement and praise for good behavior. Some of our discipline rules:
- NO physical punishment
- NO withholding meals, clothing, or shelter
- NO verbal abuse or name-calling
- NO threats to have a child removed
- NO physically strenuous work or exercise solely for punishment
- NO allowing other children to punish the foster child
Q. Do children ever become available for adoption?
A.Yes. Sometimes, for various reasons, children are unable to return home and may have a court-ordered goal of adoption. Foster families are always given adoption consideration when a child in their home needs a permanent family.Learn more about KidsPeace adoption services.
Ready to learn more about KidsPeace Foster Care?
For even more information, please contact the KidsPeace Foster Care and Family Community Programs office in your area. If you don’t see an office near you, please call 866-4-KIDSPEACE (866-454-3773) to inquire about service availability.