All foster care licensing requirements must be met prior to placement. The process of becoming a foster care parent takes approximately 3 to 6 months. Potential clients will work closely with the foster care process coordinator for guidance and support in completing the process. Client’s timeliness in returning paperwork can affect the timeline and the completion of the licensing process.
Informational Foster Care Meeting: The information meeting gives families the opportunity to determine if foster care is the right fit for them. This meeting provides a basic overview of the foster care opportunities at EVOLVE, the children/families served by the programs, and program requirements. You will be given a EVOLVE Request for Service form if you decide that foster care is a good fit for you.
Complete the Foster Care Application Paperwork & Criminal Background Check: Families will be given all necessary paperwork after we receive a completed EVOLVE application. All paperwork and background clearances (for all required household members) must be completed and return prior to beginning the Foster Care Home Study. You will receive a copy of the foster rule at this point.
Orientation/Training: 6 hours of orientation and an additional 2 days of training are required for this program. These training sessions offer families more in-depth information about the needs of foster care children and requirements. Topics will include: roles and responsibilities of foster parents, building and sustaining cultural competency, emergency procedures and requirements, reporting requirements, concurrent foster care birth family dynamics, trauma, grief, and attachment. Families may also be asked to complete Child Passenger Restraint, SIDS and Shaken Baby prior to licensing at a later date.
Foster Care Home Study: The foster care home study is a comprehensive assessment of a family’s readiness to parent and support a child in foster care. The information for this assessment is gathered through a series of interviews with potential providers and their current household members. During this time a home inspection is also performed to ensure all licensing space and environmental safety requirements are met prior to licensing.
Licensing: Once the process has been successfully completed including an approved foster care home study, the agency will notify the licensing unit of DHS and a foster care license will be issued.
Placement: Unfortunately, a foster care license does not guarantee placement of a child. For families who do receive a placement, your EVOLVE worker will provide ongoing support to your family, crisis intervention, and case management services through monthly visits, as well as regular phone and email contact. We will also maintain all reporting and record keeping requirements.
Ongoing Training & Support: After your initial study, all licensed foster care providers are required to complete 12 hours of training per year. At least one hour of that training must be on children’s mental health issues and treatment. Families are also encouraged to participate in the training and support groups offered by EVOLVE.