In part four of an exclusive 2018 Newsymom.com series, Tuscarawas County Job & Family Services discusses the importance of the Foster Parent Program.
When children are at risk with their birth parents, TCJFS first looks for safe relative/kinship placement. When a relative/kinship placement is not available, TCJFS makes every effort to place children in a substitute care placement that best meets the needs of the children, but yet is in the same community/school district. Currently, TCJFS has ¼ of foster children in Tuscarawas County Family Foster Homes.
While sometimes it is necessary to for children to be placed in homes, or other settings that can meet the special needs of a child, we would like to be able to place more school-age children in TCJFS homes. Speedier reunification of the children with their birth family can occur when children are placed in close geographic proximity to the birth family
It is always important to remember most of our children in foster care are successfully reunited with their primary family or extended family members known as kinship placements. Therefore, we need foster parents who can:
- understand the importance of birth families in the lives of all children,
- who will support a reunification plan, and
- have the capacity to deal with the reality of saying goodbye to children leaving foster care (for whom they have grown to love).
Ohio Minimum Requirements to be a Foster/Adoptive Parent:
- Must be at least 21 years of age.
- May be married or single.
- Safe, stable home with enough space for additional child(ren). Can own your home or rent.
- Accepting of a child who is not your birth child.
- Have sufficient income to meet the needs of your family and make timely payment of shelter costs, utility bills, and other debts.
- A criminal records check is completed on each applicant and adult household member through the Bureau of Criminal Identification Investigation (BCII) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Fees for the record check are paid by TCJFS. Persons must not have been convicted of any criminal offenses as referenced in current foster care/adoption rules.
- The prospective parent(s) does not have a diagnosis by a licensed physician, psychiatrist, certified psychologist, or licensed independent social worker documenting a physical, emotional, or mental condition which would endanger a foster/adoptive child or seriously impair the parent’s ability to care for a foster/adoptive child.
- Completed 36 Hours of Pre-Placement Training.
- A home study assessment has been completed, by a certified adoption assessor, which indicates the prospective parent(s) would be suitable and ready to provide foster/adoptive care.
- All services provided to foster care/adoptive parents are without regard to race, color, national origin, disability, or religious affiliation.
Removal from birth families is a difficult journey for our children. Dedicated, skilled, and compassionate foster/adoptive families are needed to help our children through this experience. If you would like further information or have questions, please feel free to call 330-556-6722 or visit our website at tcjfs.org.
As part of this exclusive Newsymom.com series, in 2018 Tuscarawas County Job & Family Services will provide a monthly article that targets important issues affecting local parents and children.