Become a Foster Parent

Your loving home could change a child’s life

adoption caritas

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.

Basic Requirements

All applicants must be:

  • 21 years of age or older
  • Of good moral character
  • Of good health in mind and body
  • Mature

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

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.

Contact Us

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

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.

Success Stories

Teresa & Bethany

Teresa & Bethany

After learning about the tremendous need for foster parents from her sister, Teresa was able to continue her life-long love of caring for children. She has fostered more than 11 children in her home, giving each of them a brighter future, including Bethany who might even become a foster parent herself.

More Ways We Help Children in Need of Loving Homes