Thousands of children in Georgia are in need of a temporary home. Below are some frequently asked questions about what it takes to give them one:
What makes a good foster parent?
Stability at home: If you are going through a divorce, job change, or birth of a child, it might not be the best time to foster a child. Any major change in your home life can affect the application process.
Flexibility: Foster parents must be willing to work with an assigned social worker, birth parents as needed, and community services. A team-player mentality is a must.
Patience: Foster parenting can be challenging and involves a lot of hard work. Most foster children have had a tough journey, and they need nurturing and love. Being dependable, consistent, and committed is key to helping them heal and thrive.
Financial Support: Although there are no specific income requirements, foster parents must have sufficient income to support their current family’s needs before adding another child. The State does provide daycare services to foster families who work full-time outside the home.
What requirements are needed to complete the foster parenting application process?
- If married, at least 10 years older than the child; if single, at least 25 years old and 10 years older than the child
- Criminal records check at local, state, and federal levels, including fingerprinting
- Child abuse and neglect background check
- Home safety check
- References from both personal sources and a doctor
- Drug screen
- Completion of a two-hour orientation, 24-hour IMPACT pre-service training, and a home evaluation
Who are the children in need of placement?
Children come from all socio-economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. They range in age from infancy to age 21. The average length of time a child remains in foster care is one year and seven months. If a foster child becomes available for adoption, foster parents may apply to be considered as an adoptive family.
What types of children are most in need of foster care in our community?
- Sibling groups
- Children under the age of 5
Is there a limit to the number of children in my home?
Yes. Currently, in the state of Georgia, there is a maximum of six0 children allowed in the home (this number includes your own children).
Is there financial help available for foster families?
Yes, foster parents are given an amount each month to defray the cost of caring for each child they foster. The exact rate is based on the age and needs of a child. In addition, when a child first enters care, the state provides an initial clothing allowance of $200 for children birth to 12 years and $300 for youth ages 13 and over. An additional yearly clothing allowance of $200 is also provided.
Does the child have medical insurance?
Yes, each child’s medical expenses are covered by Medicaid. Other child-related services such as psychological, psychiatric, and speech therapy are services the State will pay for depending on the needs of the child. Safety items such as car seats are usually purchased by foster parents, who are reimbursed.
If a child is referred to my family, do I have the option of refusal?
Yes. If you think that the placement of a particular child will not work with the dynamics of your family, you have the right to refuse placement of that child.
Where can I find more information about being a foster parent in Fayette County?
150 Marquis Dr, Fayetteville, GA 30214
Department of Family and Children’s Services
905 GA-85, Fayetteville, GA 30215