What is General Foster Care?
General foster care is for children who require placement outside of their family due to abuse or neglect. The primary reason for placement is the need for care and protection. The foster parent takes on the role as the caregiver and nurturer.
Who Can Become a Foster Parent?
- Foster parents must be 21 years of age. Age requirements are flexible as long as your health, energy and desire are appropriate.
- Foster parents must provide proof of physical health and insurance. Foster children are provided health insurance through Medical Assistance (MA).
- Foster parents must have enough income to financially support their own family without relying on the foster child’s care payment, as the care payment is designed to cover the essentials for room and board for the foster child.
- Foster parents must be willing to give us permission to check social service records and conduct a criminal record check.
- Minimal person, safety (environmental and fire) and space requirements are required by law (i.e. safe home, adequate meals, clothing, and a separate bed, but not necessarily a separate room).
- For working foster parents, appropriate child care arrangements must be made.
- The foster home must have a working telephone (this includes a cell phone which would be in the home at all times when the home is being occupied).
- The foster family must have access to transportation and be willing to provide necessary transportation to meet the needs of the foster child.
Foster Parent Reimbursement Rates
The Uniform Foster Care Rate (UFCR) is a standard scale of monthly payments to foster parents for the cost of caring for the foster child. Because the rate is based on the needs of each child, it may also include extra payments referred to as Supplemental and Exceptional Rate payments in addition to a Basic Maintenance Rate.
The Basic Maintenance Rate is intended to cover costs for food, clothing, housing, basic transportation, personal care and other expenses on a monthly basis.
How Can You Help?
- Provide free or discounted services or supplies to foster families (i.e. hair care, restaurant meals, movie passes, music lessons, etc.).
- Contribute money or donate goods such as car seats, high chairs, backpacks, school supplies, etc.
- Support the Human Services Department by helping to recruit more foster families in the community by hanging recruitment posters, handing out brochures at your church or place of business, or inviting foster care recruiters to speak at your event.
- Offer a foster teen a job, mentor a teen, or volunteer in an after-school program.