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What are the requirments of FaithBridge foster and respite families?
What are the roles and responsibilities of FaithBridge foster and respite families?
What is the approval process to become a FaithBridge foster or respite family?
When is foster and respite initial and ongoing home approval given?


REQUIREMENTS OF FOSTER AND RESPITE FAMILIES 

At FaithBridge, we are looking for the special family who's responding to God's call to get involved in the lives of hurting children. There are various requirements that foster and respite families must meet in order to qualify for this very difficult wrk.  

General Requirements

  • Be willing to work to meet the needs of and advocate for each child, as well as working towards a permanency plan.
  • Be in good mental and physical health.
  • Be 21 years or older if married; be 25 years or older if single. If you intend to foster teens, you must be at least 10 years older than the foster child.
  • Have adequate income to meet the needs of your family without the foster care reimbursement.
  • No more than four children under the age of 17, including biological children, may be placed in your home (Note: Exceptions may be made to meet the needs of a sibling group).
  • No more than three children under three years of age, including biological children, may be placed in your home.
  • Be able to provide appropriate care and supervision for all children in your home.

FaithBridge Requirements

  • Be active members of a local Christian church and demonstrate a commitment to Jesus Christ in daily life and in your home.
  • Be willing to be part of a FaithBridge Community of CareSM and ask for and accept support as you do the difficult job of parenting foster children. Also, be willing to support and nurture other families within your community.
  • Sign and abide by the FaithBridge position on morality.

Housing Requirements

  • Maintain your home in a condition to ensure the health and safety of children.
  • Provide adequate sleeping arrangements, including a bed for each child and space to store clothing and personal possessions. Only bedrooms shall be used as sleeping space for children.
    • No child shall sleep in the same bed as an adult. No child over one year of age may sleep in a room with an adult. Foster children over the age of three, of different sexes, may not share a room.
    • A maximum of two children may sleep in a double or larger bed if they are siblings, are of the same sex (with no known sexually predatory behaviors) and are under the age of five.
    • Each non-related child must have a separate bed.
  • Keep hazardous items (cleaning supplies, medications, firearms, knives, alcohol, etc.) in a place inaccessible to children.
  • Have functional smoke alarms on each level of the home, as well as at least one fire extinguisher.
  • Inoculate pets against rabies, as required by law.
  • Abide by all other home health and safety regulations.

Life and Home Changes

  • Should any of the following life changing events or changes within your home occur while in process or as an approved foster or respite family, please contact your FaithBridge family consultant immediately. It is important to communicate openly about your family, home and ability to foster or provide respite care.
    • Pregnanc
    • Changes in employment and/or income
    • Any other change, no matter how small. Even minor changes should be reported - getting a trampoline, pool, hot tub, new pet, your child getting a driver's permit, etc
    • Death or birth in immediate family
    • Any other change which impacts your ability to meet the minimum standards and/or parent foster children

 

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF FOSTER AND RESPITE FAMILIES

Understanding the role you play in your foster children's lives is an important undertaking for each FaithBridge family. Children referred to FaithBridge need a stable and supportive family and home. FaithBridge foster and respite families serve two main roles: parents and caregivers, in partnership with their FaithBridge Community of CareSM, FaithBridge family consultant and other professionals.

Foster families are responsible for the temporary care for the children 24/7 while they are in foster care. Foster families provide emotional, physical and spiritual needs of the children.

Respite families care for children overnight away from the foster family home, most often on weekends, and require the same training and approval process as becoming a foster family. Respite families are requested to commit to providing a total of 4 overnight stays a month as needed with advanced notice for two assigned foster families (1 weekend a month for each family).

Foster and respite families have unique roles and responsibilities. 

Foster Family and Respite Family Responsibilities

  • Be willing to participate in appointments and meetings involving the children.*
  • Participate in the permanency planning for the children to determine and support an adoptive family for each child.*
  • Be involved in the discharge planning for foster children in care.*
  • Support and develop an ongoing relationship with the children's birth parents to bring about an ultimate reunion, and be available and involved with birth parent visitations as appropriate under the guidance and supervision of the family consultant.*
  • Provide the love, care and acceptance that each child needs and deserves.
  • Give children a normal family life and a feeling of belonging, as well as ongoing supervision, nurture, training and discipline, good daily care and the meeting of health needs.
  • Provide an introduction to a relationship with Jesus Christ and the learning of basic Christian principles.
  • Protect the children from physical, mental, emotional and spiritual harm.
  • Help the children feel a part of the church, school, neighborhood and community.
  • Complete and maintain active certification for CPR and first aid.
  • Complete 15 hours of ongoing training annually including behavior management, discipline and trauma training. Training for new foster parents must begin with 60 days of approval and be dispersed throughout the year. Additional training should be relevant to the type of children placed or to be placed in your home.
    • Advanced Foster Parent Training - FaithBridge offers 36 hours of training a year (3 hours monthly
    • Classroom Training - Live trainings with an instructor (live webinars count
    • Online Training - Web-based, self-driven (5 hour maximum per year accepted
    • CPR/1st Aid - Required to be current  (3 hour training, 2 year expiration
    • Bullying - A 2013 training mandate for all FaithBridge foster families, provided in-home by FaithBridge staff
    • In-Home Training - Families may receive up to 3 hours of professional in-home training, annually, specific to a child(ren) in the foster home
  • Implement appropriate discipline and behavior management with children in your home in accordance with the FaithBridge discipline policy.
  • Be responsible for and observant of the children's emotional, physical, educational and spiritual needs.
  • Be willing to work with the FaithBridge staff and to consistently share and document information about the children.
  • Be prompt in submitting needed forms (invoices, medical documentation, behavioral charts, etc.).
  • Be able to provide for the children's transportation needs.
  • Follow the FaithBridge guidelines for expenses and monetary reimbursements.
  • Be responsible for informing your FaithBridge family consultant of any changes in your life, family or home circumstances, contact information, etc.

*Participation in certain responsibilities for respite families may vary. Respite families are asked to partner with two or more foster families in providing support as appropriate for the children's best interest.

 

APPROVAL PROCESS TO BECOME A FOSTER OR RESPITE FAMILY

The process for becoming a foster or respite family is lengthy and sometimes daunting. FaithBridge has a home study team that will work closely with you and see you through to approval.  The FaithBridge home study consists of the activities listed here.

  • Complete Encounter FaithBridge, our introduction to Christian foster care ministry, as well as FaithBridge Foundations, our pre-service training.
  • Complete Application for Foster/Respite Parents.
  • Provide four references (church leader, employer or coworker, extended family member and friend or neighbor).
  • Complete extensive background checks for everyone in the household over 18 years of age.
  • Complete physicals and/or letters of good health on each family member residing in the home.
  • Complete a minimum of three home visits from FaithBridge staff, including individual and family interviews and complete home health and safety inspections.
  • Provide copies of personal documents, including birth certificates, marriage certificates, driver's licenses, car insurance and any other requested documents as listed in MyFaithBridge.
  • Sign required FaithBridge policies and agreements.
  • Provide financial statements.

 

FOSTER AND RESPITE HOME APPROVAL

Initial Approval

Foster and respite home approval is given to FaithBridge families after all of the above information is gathered, home visits and interviews have been conducted and it has been established that you meet the qualifications to be a FaithBridge foster and respite family. Upon approval, FaithBridge will send you a letter indicating your approval, training requirements and the timeframe of your approval.

Re-evaluation and Ongoing Approval

The quality and compliance of your family and home are very important, as FaithBridge wants to provide the highest level of care possible to foster children. For this reason, we will continually evaluate the stability and quality of your home and conduct a formal re-evaluation, resulting in a re-approval letter, annually.