Become a Foster Parent
Your loving home could change a child’s life
Opening Your Heart & Home to a Foster Child
Every day in our own communities, children are removed from their homes due to an unsafe situation and are placed in foster care. The goal of foster care is to provide a nurturing support system for the family and a gateway to reunification. The ideal outcome of foster care is for children to be reunited with their parents.
If there is a challenging home situation that does not present a danger to the child’s safety and wellbeing, our intact family services team works closely with the parent(s) while keeping the family together.
Youth in care are from every age, background, race, culture, and circumstance. We are frequently in need of homes for older children (ages 5 and up), sibling groups, and LGBTQ youth.
Foster parents are also of diverse backgrounds, races, and cultures and may be married, single, divorced, in committed partnerships, with or without children of their own, empty nesters or grandparents.
All applicants must be:
- 21 years of age or older
- Of good moral character
- Of good health in mind and body
Current Foster Parents
See if Foster Parenting is Right for You
There is always a need for loving, caring, stable adults to open their hearts and homes to foster children. Download our flyer.
Get More Information
Read what you need to know about the rights and responsibilities of being a foster parent. Learn More.
- East Alton
- Mt. Vernon
More Ways to Help
If foster parenting isn’t for you, you can still support our Foster Parent program in other ways. See other ways you can support Caritas Family Solutions.
FAQs about foster parenting
The goal of foster care is reunification. Foster parents must be able to support this goal. If a child is unable to return home, foster parents will be considered as a permanent adoptive placement. If adoption is your true desire, contact our Adoption Services. (this is linked to our adoption page)
All youth in care have experienced trauma. Most are frightened and confused by the change in their home environment. Some are angry about poor treatment they have received. Others may see placement in a foster home as punishment. Even babies can be very irritable at first. You will have training and resources at Caritas to help you understand what youth in care have experienced and what you can do to make the child feel comfortable and safe in your home.
Most foster children are frightened and confused by the sudden loss of their parents. Some are angry about poor treatment they have received. Others may see a foster home as punishment. Even babies can be very irritable at first. All foster children have been traumatized in some way. But, these issues slowly improve as the child begins to trust you. You will have training and resources at Caritas to help you understand what your foster child has experienced and what you can do to make the child feel comfortable in your home.
It is typical for kids to feel jealous of the time and attention you give to a new child. But, when you prepare your children for fostering and make them an important part of it, they will accept and enjoy the child just as you will.
The initial licensing process, including background checks, pre-service training, and home study completion, takes approximately 3-6 months. Once you are licensed, placement is largely dependent upon your age preference, capacity, and agency need.
Foster parents receive a monthly stipend based on the current state rate.
The youth in care will be provided medical, dental, vision, and mental health coverage by the State of Illinois.