Become a Foster Parent
Foster parents are people who choose to become the substitute families for children in need. Foster parenting is both a responsibility and an opportunity. It is one of the highest forms of community service. Foster children require more than "custodial" care. Foster parents provide food, clothing, and shelter, plus the love, stability, guidance, and discipline these children need until they are reunited with their families or are adopted. Foster parents give children their best efforts even though the child is with them only temporarily.
Last year almost two hundred children in Montgomery County were temporarily separated from their parents. These children come from a cross section of the community--from a variety of social and economic backgrounds, from every race, religion and nationality. Their ages range from infancy to young adulthood. They may come from homes where there has been family breakdown. All have been physically, emotionally or sexually abused or have been neglected.
There is now an urgent need for families who are interested in fostering:
- One or more children 13 years of age or older.
- Teen mothers and their babies/young children.
- Sibling groups of any age.
- Children from birth through age five years.
- One child of any age with complex behavior and/or medical needs.
Becoming a foster parent should be a well thought-out decision involving everyone in your family. To become a foster parent, you must:
- Have respect for and interest in caring for children and families.
- Be 21 years of age or older.
- Own or rent your own house or apartment.
- Be in good physical and mental health.
- Be able to meet your family's financial obligations.
- Submit to a housing inspection.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Meet pre-service training requirements.
- Have a stable family relationship.
If you are ready to learn more, please attend one of our monthly information meetings. NO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
What supports are provided to foster parents?
Montgomery County Child Welfare Services provides pre-service and in-service training; a monthly payment for the foster child's expenses; medical,dental, prescription drug and mental health coverage; child care assistance; and case work services to the children in your home.
What is treatment foster parenting?
The Treatment Foster Care Program serves children who are seriously emotionally disturbed, developmentally disabled, or medically fragile. This program provides children with intensive therapeutic services within a family environment. TREATMENT FOSTER PARENTS with medical, counseling, and/or teaching experience are urgently needed. The Program provides a monthly stipend, room and board payment, medical and mental health coverage for the child, respite care services, and intensive case management services.
What is dual license foster parenting?
Some foster children are not yet legally free to be adopted, but the agency is taking steps to achieve this. In an effort to protect the child from moving many times, the agency will place the child in a foster family that intends to adopt him or her if and when the court allows. The child benefits by having maximum stability of placement while the court makes a permanent decision. The majority of adoptions through Montgomery County Child Welfare Services are accomplished through the dual license program.
What is a home study?
A home study is a joint effort by you and your social worker to prepare your family to be an approved foster family. Just as you would want to be very familiar with a family before leaving your own child with them for an extended period, so too does the Department want to be very familiar with you and your family before making a placement. Your home study worker will also assist you in defining what types of children you feel you could most successfully parent.
Where can I get other questions answered about becoming a foster parent?
We are happy to answer any questions you might have. Please call us at 240-777-1664.
For more information, please call Erin Stillwell or Shelly Chaitow, Foster Parent Recruiters