If becoming a foster parent is what you really want to do, getting started with the foster care home study is what you will want to begin with as soon as possible because the time it will take you to complete everything will be at least 2-3 months.
First be sure that you will qualify, here is a list of the documents you will need. I wouldn't advise you to complete these documents until you speak with a case worker, but at least know that you will be able to get these things when asked. Not all agencies will require the same things, these are however some common requirements.
When you are ready, contact your local Children’s Services or private foster agency to express your interest in becoming a foster parent. They will make an appointment to meet with you. This will be the beginning of your home study.
The home study is like any other job interview, however, you will be asked some personal questions and it will take a couple of hours for the main caregiver of the household. Other caregivers 1 hr. and children 10-15 mins.
A brief outline of what to expect during the foster care home study interview:
Date of birth and where you were born?
Where did you grow up?
What was it like for you growing up?
Do you have siblings?
What did your father and mother do for a living?
Who was the authority figure?
Were are your parents/siblings living now?
And many more.
Here you will be asked some questions about each of your children and their character/personality, interests, socialization etc.
How they feel about foster children coming to live in their home.
Education & Employment:
What level of education do you have?
If you went to college, what did you take?
Relationship with Partner:
How long have you and your spouse been married?
How do you support one another.
What are your responsibilities around the house?
Who will be the main caregiver, or the one who is home for the children on most occasions?
And so on, and so on.
What is your parenting style?
Who is the authority figure?...
How do family members communicate, adult-to-adult, adult-to-children?
How are messages received and interpreted?
How do you deal with or solve problems?
How do you deal with family matters, such as, chores etc.?
Current Family Functioning:
Is their someone home for the children when they come home from school?
What types of activities do you and the family participate in? Friends, family, zoo, park, short trips, long trips?
Beliefs and Practices:
Do you have cultural issues?
Do you have any specific religious beliefs?
Would you be willing to do relief? Care for foster children for a couple of days in order to give other foster parents a much needed break.
So there you have it. This is only a sample of some of the questions you will be asked, but you can relax, and don’t stress over it.
They don't expect people to be saints, afterall, no ones perfect, we have all experienced our ups and downs at one time or another. But what they do expect is honest answers!
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