There is no charge to an Arizona family for the licensing process to become a foster family. After a child is placed in your home the state will pay you a monthly subsidy to cover the expenses incurred for room and board, clothing and supplies. There is an additional amount paid once a year to help cover additional clothing expenses. All of the child’s medical and dental expenses are covered by the state medical plan. Counseling and therapy needs are also covered by the state if the child is eligible and funds are available.
The licensing process usually takes about 4 to 6 months. You will have to be fingerprinted. You will need 30 hours (or more) of special foster care training to prepare you to better understand the issues and problems facing foster children. You will have a home study completed by your licensing agency to get to know you better. You will need a home inspection by the Arizona Office of Licensing & Certification. After your license is issued, the time it takes for a placement will depend on the age and the number of children you are willing to care for.
We are a licensing agency contracted by the State of Arizona. We will walk you through the process, provide you with foster care training, do the home study and prepare you for the home inspection. After you become licensed, our Christian foster care agency will provide you with an ongoing worker to help you find a placement and to encourage you, and pray with you, as you nurture a hurting child. We also are responsible to help you renew your license each year.
After you finish the licensing process you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding the age, sex and number of children you are interested in. You will also be asked about the emotional and physical challenges that you would be willing to tackle. Before a placement is made, your Christian Family Care licensing worker will discuss a specific child with you and help you decide whether or not that child would be a match for your family.
Our foster children come from Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS), a division of the Department of Economic Security. The children are in the custody of the state. All of the foster care contracted agencies in the state provide homes and support for these DCS children. Placements are made to best meet the needs (location, case plan, special needs…) of the child. Traditionally, there is a need in any area for children over the age of 7.
About 8% of children in foster care are under the age of 1; about 33% are between the ages of 1 and 5. There are around 32% between the ages of 6 to 12. Approximately 26% are over 12 years old. The majority of children come into foster care with siblings. Our greatest need is for homes to take a sibling group of 2 or more school age children and teens.
We usually have a need for families to foster infants. However, many of these infants are part of a larger sibling group. Most of the infants coming into care are drug exposed. Many of them have been born prematurely and may need lots of attention and holding, or may have medical needs and complications. You will need to be prepared with a crib, infant car seat, swing, etc. if you want to foster infants. You should be open to receive the placement 24/7 without much information on the child’s history.
The length of placement varies from a few days to a few years. Generally a placement will last around one year.
While children are in foster care, the Department of Child Safety is working with the family to rectify the problems that caused the children to come into care to begin with. There are services offered to the parents such as alcohol and drug rehabilitation, anger management counseling, and parenting classes. If the parent shows progress in getting their life under control, the children will be returned to the parent after many supervised visits. The state will continue to monitor the family to insure the child’s safety. If the parent cannot overcome the barriers to parenting, a relative or an adoptive family will be sought. A good number of foster children are adopted by their foster families.
YES! It is hard! Foster care is a ministry to hurting children. Sometimes ministry is hard! However, the rewards are huge! To take a child into your home, giving love and security that they have never known, can have a life changing effect on these children. You can show these children how a loving, Christian family functions. You can tell them about the unconditional love of Jesus. This will give them hope for their own lives. In James l:27 God has asked us “to care for orphans and widows in their time of need”. He will give us the strength to care for them and the courage to let them go when the time comes. However many of our foster families adopt their foster children if their case plan changes to adoption.