- 1. I am single. Can I still be a resource parent?
- Yes. Resource parents may be single, married, divorced or widowed. According to Virginia law and policy, you may not be approved if you are separated but not legally divorced or cohabiting (living with someone but not married). You will be required to provide copies of marriage certificate and/or divorce decree.
- 2. What is expected of me as a resource parent?
- As a resource parent, you will be expected to provide a nurturing, supportive home environment for a child in need. Typically, people who wish to become resource parents are individuals with big hearts who genuinely love children. Resource parents are willing and able to handle children who sometimes display challenging behaviors due to experiencing difficult situations in the past. Resource parents are able to mange crises effectively.
- 3. Who are the children in foster care?
- The children in foster care are a diverse group, and come from a variety of different situations. The majority of foster care children and adolescents have been removed from their home due to abuse or neglect. Some may have had exposure to alcohol and other drugs, while others may be dealing with medical conditions.
- 4. What population has the greatest need for foster care?
- Foster homes are always needed who will take in groups of siblings, as well as teenagers, and teenage mothers with their child(ren). Please remember that the mission of the Henrico Foster Care Program is to find families for children that need them, not children for families that want them. The next pre-service training session participants will be selected based upon the greatest current need.
- 5. How long does it take to become a resource parent?
- Becoming a resource parent is a multi-step process: attending an initial information meeting; completing pre-service training; and participating in a home study (see question 10 below). This process generally takes about 4 months.
- 6. How long will my foster child stay in my home?
- Each foster care case is unique, and the length of time a foster child spends in your home will vary. However, the purpose of foster care is to provide each foster child with a place to live temporarily, while the child and the biological family work together with Henrico Department of Social Services to bring the child back home.
- 7. What if my foster child gets sick or hurt?
- All medical expenses for foster children are covered by Medicaid health insurance.
- 8. What am I required to pay for as a resource parent?
- It doesn't cost anything to become a resource parent. Once you are approved and a child is placed in your home, you will be reimbursed for the cost of the foster child's room, board, clothing, and other related expenses.
- 9. What kind of support is available for foster families?
- Link to "What services do resource parents receive"
- 10. What is a home study?
- The home study is a mutual assessment process during which the agency and your family works together to make a good decision about fostering/adoption. The home study will include the following:
- In-depth interviews with all family members
- Fire and safety inspection of your home, to include an assessment of any pets
- TB tests for all household members, including children
- Physical examination of foster parents
- References (personal, professional, and adult children)
- National criminal background check for all adult household members
- Child Protective Services (CPS) search for all adult household members
- DMV driver record check
- Income verification
- Verification of marriage certificate and/or divorce decree
- 11. Can I be a resource parent if either I or an adult household member has a criminal record?
- Some crimes are considered 'barrier crimes' and will result in you being ineligible to be a resource parent. Barriers to approval also include any felony conviction unless five (5) years have elapsed since conviction and/or a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect within or outside the Commonwealth. Convictions include prior adult convictions, juvenile convictions and adjudications of juvenile delinquency if offenses involved would be a felony if committed by an adult within or outside the Commonwealth.
Other charges and/or convictions may not make you automatically ineligible to be a resource parent. However, these will be assessed during the home study process. If you have any questions,
contact one of our Foster Parent Trainers - click here.
- 12. Will the criminal background check only reveal information from the state of Virginia?
- The criminal background check searches the national registry, not just the state of Virginia. Also, if you have lived in the state of Virginia for less than five (5) years, you will need to submit to a Child Protective Services (CPS) search in your prior state of residency. The social worker completing your home study will assist you with this.
- 13. Can I be a resource parent if I don't have any previous parenting experience?
- Yes. Parenting experience is beneficial, but it is not required to be a foster parent. What is more important is the willingness of a resource family to develop the skills necessary to meet the needs of a foster child, and the patience to handle the potential challenges of fostering a child.
- 14. Do foster parents have full responsibility for the foster care children in their home?
- No. Resource parents share responsibility with Henrico Department of Social Services. Resource parents are responsible for day-to-day care, while Henrico Social Services carries overall responsibility for making decisions about the child.
- 15. What training is available for resource parents?
- Pre-service or preparation training is held once a week, for 10 weeks, typically from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. The training covers competencies such as:
- i. Protecting and nurturing children
- ii. Meeting children's developmental needs and addressing developmental delays
- iii. Supporting relationships between children and their biological families
- iv. Connecting children to safe and nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime
- v. Working as a member of a professional team, which includes the foster parents(s), foster child and Henrico Social Services.
If you have any questions please contact one of our
Foster Parent Trainers - click here.