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 must be removed from their homes due to an unsafe situation and are placed in foster care. The goal of foster care is to provide a temporary, safe, caring environment for children while their parents get help addressing their situation. The ideal outcome of foster care is for the children to be reunited with their parents.
Foster children are from every age, background, culture and circumstance. Foster parents are also of diverse backgrounds 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
Ideal for Empty Nesters
All kinds of people become successful foster parents. In our experience, we’ve found that if you’re an empty nester, you are ideally suited for it. You’re experienced in raising children, and have the time, space, and energy for it – but you are not looking to adopt. Empty nesters can fulfill a desire to give back, and use their valuable parenting experience to help put other children on a good path.
How to Get Started
FAQs about foster parenting
Foster care is for temporary placement, with the goal being to reunite children with their parents, so it’s never intended to be path to adoption. Occasionally, a foster child ends up living with foster parents for a longer time, and it’s not in the child’s best interest to be reunited with family. The foster parents can let their case manager know of their interest to adopt, but it’s not guaranteed. If adoption is your true desire, it’s better to contact our Adoption Services.
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’s similar to how children react to bringing a new baby home. It’s normal for kids to feel jealous of the time and attention you give to a new child. But, when you prepare your children for it, and make them an important part of it, they will accept and enjoy the child just as you will.
The initial licensing process takes 3 – 6 months. Once you are licensed, placements are based upon the matching of foster children with compatible foster parents.
Foster parents receive a monthly check for room, board, clothing and allowance while the foster child is with you.
The State of Illinois covers medical and dental expenses for children in foster care.