Below are some of the frequently asked questions that families ask us before embarking in a foster care ministry. If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

1.    Does a FaithBridge foster family have a say in choosing a child? 

Yes. During the Home Study process there will plenty of opportunity to discuss the kind of children you are thinking about fostering. We call this your "desired placement" with regards to the sex of a child, age and race, and we'll want to know the rationale for your criteria. Are you concerned about your own children's birth order or do you have concerns about specific behaviors you might encounter? Are you concerned about your extended family or neighborhood reaction to a cross-cultural placement? Think about it and we'll discuss it. Please keep an open mind. You might be surprised by your own and your family's ability to accept more or different kids when you see that they really just need a stable family.

Ultimately, FaithBridge sets a "recommended placement" for each of its families at the time of initial approval. You will only be called to place children that fall within these criteria. We hope following this extensive evaluation process, you will accept children within your range, but ultimately the decision to accept a placement is yours. Turning down a placement for a legitimate reason will not affect future referrals. 

2.   How long do foster children stay in care? 

The length of time varies according to the needs of the children and their families. Some children are placed briefly (a few days) while some remain for months to years.  The average length of stay is six months.

3.  What about biological parent visitation?

The goal of FaithBridge Foster Care is the return of children to their biological families. To maintain the child's relationship with their birth parents, regularly scheduled visitations are arranged and supervised by FaithBridge staff.  FaithBridge encourages foster parents to be involved, when appropriate, and provides guidance and coaching to help with this.

4.  Can FaithBridge foster families house several children at one time?

No more than four children under the age of 17, including biological children, may reside in a FaithBridge foster home.  An exception may be made to this to meet the needs of a sibling group, as it is always in the best interest of siblings to remain together. It is a FaithBridge practice to not place unrelated foster children in the same home; however, in extenuating circumstances, this may occur.

5.  Who takes responsibility for the child in the home?

You are responsible for the daily care of foster children in your home. FaithBridge, DFCS and biological parents maintain various legal, guardianship and service responsibilities of foster children. FaithBridge maintains overall responsibility for decisions regarding children, and any and all questions and major decisions should be discussed with your family consultant.  

6.  What happens if the placement doesn't work out? Will FaithBridge make other plans for the foster children?

FaithBridge Foster Care maintains the principle of "First Placement, Best Placement" for the foster children in care and seeks to prevent "disruptions" in placement. Foster families are encouraged to contact their family consultant when having difficulties and make all efforts to stabilize the home and placement. Children will only be moved to another placement in an emergency or as a last resort.  Moving requires 72-hours, notice so as to allow adequate time for planning a smooth transition.

7.  Are the children available for adoption?

The majority of children in foster care return to their biological family, which is most often the best option. If appropriate, children should have the opportunity to grow and develop in their own family circle. This is where their roots are, and their roots and family involvement are very important to who they are, how they perceive themselves and who they become.

When reunification is not an option, an adoptive family for the child will be sought. Eighty percent of children who are adopted from foster care are adopted by their foster parents. In this situation, a child gets to stay in a familiar environment that has been a safe and nurturing home. FaithBridge can assist you in the process of transitioning from a foster family to an adoptive family should you decide to become the child's new forever family.

8. Are there costs involved to become a FaithBridge foster parent?

You will incur expenses in becoming a foster parent. Generally there are fees involved for requirements, including but not limited to drug screens, fingerprinting, co-payments for physical exams or medical documentation, veterinary expenses for rabies vaccinations and septic tank inspections. 

9. Who is responsible for the children's medical and dental expenses? 

Foster children are wards of the state and are therefore eligible for Medicaid. Prior to setting up any appointments with physicians or dentists, contact the provider to find out if s/he accepts Medicaid.  Upon placement, child should see a physician within 72 hours.

10. What costs, if any, am I reimbursed for?

There are a number of pre-approved expenses for which foster families can receive reimbursements. These one-time or occasional costs must be approved by a FaithBridge family consultant before the purchase is made. Many of these types of expenses have a set annual allowance that the child must stay within, regardless of how many foster homes and parents he or she has had in the year. Examples of these expenses are clothing, hair care, school photos and yearbooks, field trips, travel, extracurricular and medical expenses. In order to receive reimbursement for these expenses, you must provide original receipts. Your FaithBridge family consultant will provide you with more information on allowances for reimbursement expenses for any foster child in your care.

11. Do I receive any tax breaks for being a foster parent? 

There are some tax implications for foster families, and FaithBridge recommends consulting a CPA or tax advisor prior to preparing your annual filing.