Thank you for your interest in becoming a foster parent. Foster parents enjoy many wonderful benefits. Not the least of which is the life long satisfaction of knowing they have had a lasting, positive impact on the life of a child, giving them the stability, love and self confidence necessary to succeed throughout their lives.
The Broward County program needs parents who will provide positive and nurturing influences on children with specific needs or challenges which are related to either 1) substance abuse; 2) medical fragility; or 3) gender/sexual orientation issues.
Florida’s requirements include, but may not be limited to:
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Must have a permenant address
- Must be employed or have another source of legal income
- Must be financially self sufficient
- Must not have a history of criminal activity
- Must not have a history of abusing a child
- Must not be receiving assistance from the state (e.g. Section VIII housing, food stamps, etc.)
- Successful passing state mandated background check
Process to become a foster parent in Florida:
- Complete 30 hour Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP). Enhanced foster parents must also complete an additional 30 hours of training
- Background checks will be completed on every person over age 12 in the home
- Physical exam by your own doctor
- Letters of reference from family, employer, neighbors, schools your children attend
- Financial checks will be completed to ensure you are financially stable
- Home study will be completed to ensure your home is safe and clean
- Lead child welfare agency in Broward County, Childnet, must approve your license and the Department of Children and Families must sign off on your license
- The entire process takes approximately four months
What do foster parents do?
- Provide the basic food, clothing, shelter, love and care necessary for positive growth and development of children.
- Encourage positive relationships between the child and his or her natural parents.
- Protect the child from harmful situations that could threaten a child’s health and safety.
- Help the child grow through educational, cultural and social experiences.
- Work as part of a team that includes the agency responsible for the child, various service providers in the community and whenever possible, the youth’s parents.
- Participate in parent training workshops, which address the needs of children.
Prepare the child to return home, to live with relatives, or to be adopted if a return home is not possible.
Rewards of Becoming a Foster Parent
There are many rewards which you can expect from becoming a foster parent, some of which include:
- Love that may be returned to you now and in the future from the children you have helped.
- A sense of satisfaction, knowing that you played a major role in helping children and families in need.
- A feeling of pride in your abilities as a parent. Good parenting is a matter of skill—not luck. Good parents are role models, counselors, decision-makers and much more.
- Developing bonds with foster parents and others in your community to help provide children with services they need.
To become licensed, foster parents must complete the 30 hour MAPP training curriculum as well as additional training related to the specialized population of children and youth served by NYAP-Florida.
Learn more about Foster Parenting!
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