Louisiana Foster Parents

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What is Foster Parenting?

Foster parenting is an opportunity for you to make a difference in a child's life during a time of crisis. Foster parents help children by providing them with stability, supervision, consistency and affection. Foster family care is a temporary arrangement until a child's permanent plan is achieved such as return to their own families or adoption. Foster parents are supportive to the child's parents.

What are the Basic Qualifications?

- Be at least 21 years of age

- Be single, married, or divorced

- Have adequate space for a child

- Have an income adequate for own family / to be financially stable

- Own or rent adequate housing

- Be with or without children of your own

- Have adequate transportation

- Must be in good physical and mental health

- Have ability to work as a team with agency social workers, child's family and other service providers

- Have ability to understand and show acceptance of the child's parents

How Do I Become a Foster Parent?

Foster parent certification follows mandates set by Louisiana law, Bureau of Licensing requirements and agency policy. The following requirements must be fulfilled prior to an individual or couple being certified to provide care for children.

Individuals or couples must:

- Complete MAPP/GPS Pre-service Training.

- Be cleared through State Police and FBI criminal records checks.(applies to all adults living in the home)

- Be cleared through State Central Registry for Child Abuse and Neglect.

- Obtain a physical examination, including a tuberculosis test for all family members.

- Be in agreement not to use Corporal Punishment.(i.e., any physical punishment inflicted in any manner on a child's body)

- Provide at least 4 non-related references.

- Allow all members of the family to be interviewed.

- Home must meet environmental, health and fire safety requirements.

- To have a care plan for each child placed in the home if individual/couple work outside the home.

- Participate in an individual home study.

- Agree to complete 15 hours of annual in-service training requirements.

Will I Be Paid to be a Foster Parent?

A salary is not paid for being a foster parent. Monthly board payments are made to certified foster parents to reimburse for the cost of caring for a child. Board payments are to help meet the daily needs of the child for shelter, food, clothing, allowance and incidental expenses. Board payments are determined by the child's age. The child's health and dental needs are covered by Medicaid.

What are the Agency Expectations of Foster Parents?

Foster parents are expected to do for a foster child the things they would do for their own child:

- Maintain confidentiality regarding the foster child and their family.

- Arrange and take child to medical and dental appointments.

- Register the child in school.

- Participate in school meetings and events.

- Take the child to appointments and extracurricular activities.

- Inform the child's worker of events occurring with the child.

- Purchase clothing with allotted board payment.

- Participate as a team member with agency staff, attend agency meetings, court hearings.

- Support the child's parents in their effort to have the child returned to their care.

Where Can I Get More Information?

Foster Care and Adoption Home Development staff, who train and certify Foster and Adoptive Parents, are located in Office of Community Services Regional Offices.

Office of Community Services has 10 regions. The DSS Telephone Directory for OCS at the DSS web site can provide you with regional and parish directories for telephone numbers. Selection of the Parish Directory will provide the appropriate Regional office which serves your parish.

Yellow pages of the telephone directory provides the OCS Regional Office number where you can contact the Foster Care and Adoption Home Development staff.

Blue pages of the telephone directory under State Government, Louisiana Department of Social Services, Office of Community Services, Region/Parish Office provides the telephone number for the Foster Care and Adoption Home Development staff.
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