Becoming a foster parent is not an overnight decision. You’ll probably want to discuss this decision among all your family members. And that’s a good thing.
We at National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP) want you and your family to be comfortable with your choice to open your heart and home to a youth or sibling group in need, and we hope you know that we’ll be with you every step of the way.
Contact Us Today
Your call or email starts the process. We will mail you a packet of information about NYAP. A NYAP Licensing Coordinator, will contact you to set up a face-to-face meeting.
Attend an Orientation
NYAP periodically holds New Foster Parent Orientation classes to give people who are considering foster parenting a forum to openly ask questions and talk to other parents going through the same process. If there is not a class in the near future, your Licensing Coordinator will go over all the same information with you face-to-face and is available to answer any questions you may have.
Your Licensing Coordinator will meet with you to discuss the state requirements for foster parents and to review the documentation with you. It is important for you to complete all of the required documentation to expedite the process.
Foster Parent Training Classes
As you work through gathering and completing the necessary documentation, you may begin to attend foster parent training classes. Every foster parent is required to attend approximately 35-45 hours of pre-service training classes (classes vary by state). In these classes, you will learn what foster parenting is all about, expectations, obligations and the rewards and challenges of being a foster parent. You will learn how to work with the biological parent(s), how to help the youth adjust, parenting and family dynamics and more. Note: Successful completion of all foster parent training classes is required.
The Family Assessment or Home Study
Your Licensing Coordinator will arrange to make 2-3 visits to your home to interview you and any other family members or residents in the home. The interviews allow us to:
· Complete criminal background checks on all adults (18+) living in your home
· Make sure your home has enough space to accommodate the foster youth or sibling group
· Understand your motivations to become a foster parent.
· Ensure foster parenting is the right fit for you and your family
· Gather background information about you and your family and talk with the personal references you provide
· Ensure you are able to provide a safe, nurturing home to the youth
We understand that the home study process may seem a bit intrusive or feel a bit awkward to you and your family at first, however it is critically important that we do all we can to ensure the safety and security of the foster youth and families we serve. It is also important to ensure that our foster parents are adequately prepared to support and provide for the children and youth entrusted in their care.
Meet Your NYAP Team
Upon successful completion of your home study and training classes, NYAP will begin the process to license you as a NYAP foster parent. Upon approval, you will meet with the NYAP team members that will support you as you foster a youth or sibling group.
A Child is Placed in Your Home
Once you are certified, we will begin to look for a youth that is a good fit for you and your family. If the match is right, the child(ren) will come to stay with you until they can be reunited with their biological family, a relative or if not available, permanently adopted by your family (if you choose) or another family. We will talk to you about visitation schedules with birth parents and siblings and will continue to support you as you foster the youth.