Foster Parent FAQs
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.
Read through our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below to learn more about our foster care program.
- What exactly is foster care?
- What is the difference between treatment and traditional foster care?
- What are some benefits of being a foster parent?
- Do I have to meet with the birth parents or family of origin?
- Am I financially responsible for the youth’s care?
- Do you choose the youth for me?
- How long does it take to get licensed? What’s the process?
- How long does the youth typically stay in a home?
- What qualifications do I have to meet as a foster parent?
- What programs do you provide for the youth in treatment foster care?
What exactly is foster care?
Foster care is the temporary care of youth who have been removed from their family of origin or biological family, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Reasons for the removal might include abuse, abandonment or neglect. In most cases, these youth have been removed from their homes through no fault of their own. The primary goal is to reunify the youth with their family.
A foster parent’s role is to provide a safe and stable environment for them during their stay until they are successfully reunified. In consideration of the youth’s best interest, adoption opportunities are also available.
What is the difference between treatment and traditional foster care?
Traditional foster care refers to the out-of-home placement of any child between the ages of 0 to 18 without any health restrictions, mental or physical disabilities. Treatment foster care, or sometimes referred to as therapeutic foster care, is fostering children or youth who are specifically struggling with any mental or physical disabilities as well as behavioral issues. NYAP provides a number of programs for our treatment foster youth to help them while they are in a placement. To learn more about other programs offered, click here
What are some benefits of being a foster parent?
As a foster parent, you are empowered with the unique ability to bring safety and peace to a child or youth who may feel broken. The healing power you are able to provide is unmatched by any other duty outside of parenthood.
Besides the opportunity to empower, some other benefits of being a foster parent are:
-Competitive monthly compensation to support the youth
-Continuous training with our professional team of social workers and psychologists
-24/7 support through our quality Service Reception department comprised of caring professionals
-Referral bonuses as you refer others to become licensed NYAP foster parents
To learn about the specific referral bonuses for your state, click here.
Do I have to meet with the birth parents or family of origin?
In most cases, NYAP staff will immediately work with the youth’s family with the primary goal of preparing them for their youth’s return home, as well as helping them resolve the issues and concerns that led to the youth’s removal in the first place. If it is in the youth’s best interest, we encourage and support you in creating a transparent relationship between the biological family and foster family.
Am I financially responsible for the youth’s care?
Foster families receive a monthly reimbursement to pay for the basic expenses of the youth. Payments come twice each month via direct deposit and are based on the number of days the foster youth was in care. In most cases, the youth’s health insurance is taken care of through the Medicaid program.
To learn the exact reimbursement amount for your state as a foster parent, click here.
Do you choose the youth for me?
It’s a team effort. We take the time to listen to you and will do what is best for the foster youth, you and your family. We carefully review and match youth to foster parents based on a thorough home study review process, personal preferences, the age of the child and other children in your home along with their individual needs and more. We take a collaborative approach in finding the youth that fits best with your family.
How long does it take to get licensed? What’s the process?
The first step towards becoming a foster parent is completing a training course. This course is designed to help you fully understand the foster care process including: policies and procedures, trauma-informed care, behavior management and everything you need to know to properly equip you for the journey ahead. On average, these courses are a number of weeks long. Following completion of this training, prospective foster parents are required to complete licensing paperwork and the home study process begins. The entire process may take up to three months. If you’re determined to get licensed in a timely way, we will work with you to make this process as easy and smooth as possible for you.
How long does the youth typically stay in a home?
The length of time a youth is placed in your home varies on many different factors. Our NYAP team and the juvenile court system work together to continually assess what’s in the child’s best interest. Our overall goal is to ensure children do not linger needlessly in the system but rather achieve permanency as soon as possible. At times, you may have a youth placed with you for a number of months, and sometimes even longer; it varies depending on the youth in care and his or her circumstances. Our role at NYAP is to ensure we continuously communicate the child’s status with you and keep you informed on all developments related to their placement status.
What qualifications do I have to meet as a foster parent?
Each state has various income, education and community status qualifications, but NYAP’s general qualifications are simple: provide a safe and respectful home for the child or youth while they are in your care. You do NOT need to be married, own a house, earn tons of money or have children of your own to be a foster parent.
To learn about each state’s qualifications, click here.
What programs do you provide for the youth in treatment foster care?
NYAP provides a continuum of care to all of our clients to ensure the best possible experience for our youth in care. Location depending, we have a range of services provided including:
- Behavioral health services
- School-based programs
- Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) treatment
- Intensive home-based services
- Positive Adolescent Sexuality Services (PASS)
- Functional Family Therapy (FFT)
To learn more about other services NYAP provides, click here.