- Has disabilities that may include mental, physical, or behavioral challenges.
- Is at risk for developing learning, emotional, behavioral, or physical disabilities in the future.
- Was prenatally exposed to drugs or alcohol.
- Is older than the average age for adoption.
- Be at least 21 years of age.
- Have sufficient income to meet the basic needs of your household.
- Be in good physical, emotional, and mental health.
- Have no criminal record for violent crimes, sexual crimes, or crimes against children.
- Attend pre-service training and meet the continuing education requirements.
- Contact a local foster care agency.
- Complete an application to become a licensed foster parent.
- Attend the required amount of pre-service training. Additional medical or behavioral training may be needed for children with special needs.
- Complete a criminal background check. (You and any adult members of your household will be fingerprinted for a national criminal background check.)
- Participate in a home study. (This will include interviews of all your household members, fire inspection, home safety audit, reference checks, credit check, and medical examination.)
- Receive a state-issued foster parent license.
- A child is placed in your home.
- Allow the child age-appropriate space and his own belongings.
- Give the child a choice about what to call you. Generally, calling you by your first name is fine, but sometimes a child will want to call you "mom" or "dad." The general rule here is to let the child choose what is comfortable.
- It is important for a foster child to understand the role of a parent as protective and nurturing. Let her know that you are the parent of your household, and that is your role.
- Be aware of racial and cultural differences, and try to incorporate the child's culture into your own.
- Create a life book with or for the child. A life book is basically a scrapbook, and a very valuable resource that foster parents can create for their foster child. It may become very important to a child, and can include anything from medical records, to school pictures, to awards and photographs. The life book will stay with the child through new foster placement, reunification, or adoption.
- Working closely with the caseworker and knowing their supervisor. Make sure they assist you in working with the birth family.
- Knowing your child's court-appointed guardian.
- Understanding and coordinating Medicaid services. Children entering the foster care system are entitled to Medicaid and an initial or periodic EPSDT (Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment). States have a variety of approaches to fulfilling this obligation.
- Choosing a primary care provider for your child. Make sure they accept Medicaid and are available and willing to advocate for the child.
- Participating in medical appointments, which may include primary medical care, medical subspecialties, dental, mental health and therapies–occupational, physical, and speech.
- Maintaining the placement packet and record keeping. Obtain as much information as possible on medical, dental, developmental, immunization, and mental health records, as well as the child's former foster homes.
- Working with the school system, meeting with teachers and therapists, attending IEP (Individual Education Plan) meetings, and special education meetings.
National Foster Care & Adoption Directory Search
The National Foster Care & Adoption Directory (formerly the National Adoption Directory) offers adoption and post-adoption resources by state.
Healthy Foster Care America (AAP)
Resources for children and teens in foster care and foster parents; American Academy of Pediatrics.
FosterClub is a national network for youth in foster care. This site has excellent resources for youth in foster care, including: entering foster care; message board; topical information about things like foster families, court, your caseworker and the agency, school, friends and relationships, health, and leaving foster care; and state-by-state information and resources.
Fostering Healthy Children Program
A program of the Utah Department of Health that works to ensure ongoing health, dental and mental health care needs are provided for children in DCFS custody in Utah.
Parent Education Materials for Post-Trauma Children
Tips, questions, and answers for things parents can do to help their child after a trauma; from the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
What is Child Traumatic Stress?
Child traumatic stress occurs when children and adolescents are exposed to traumatic events or situations that overwhelm their ability to cope. This area of the NCTS website has many handouts with education and questions and answers about child traumatic stress.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study (CDC)
One of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Utah Health Status: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
ACEs include verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, as well as family dysfunction. ACEs have been linked to adverse health outcomes such as violence, obesity, diabetes, cardiopulmonary disease, and other negative physical and mental health behaviors later in life. July 2011, Utah Department of Health
State Baby Facts: Utah
A 5-page report on conditions and resources to lessen adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as poverty, which can weaken babies' brain development. Resources include federal supports in Utah for health and nutrition, supporting strong families, and positive learning experiences, all of which combat chronic stress. Utah ranks 11th in child well-being. Zero to Three Policy Center, National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families
Resource Directory Salt Lake County Children's Justice Center 2014 ( 437 KB)
Compiled by the Salt Lake County Children's Justice Center, the directory provides information and numbers for reporting child abuse and accessing services including child protective services, legal services, domestic violence resources, teen pregnancy resources, mental health resources, protective order resources, and hotlines.
See all Behavioral Programs services providers (30) in our database.
See all Family Support Organizations services providers (9) in our database.
See all Foster Care services providers (68) in our database.
See all Mental Health Infant/Preschool services providers (15) in our database.
See all Social Work services providers (2) in our database.
For other services related to this condition, browse our Services categories or search our database.
|Author:||Shena McAuliffe, MFA - 2/2013|
|Content Last Updated:||5/2016|