Being a foster parent can be one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have, but becoming one can also be one of the most challenging. The foster parent licensing process is not an overly complicated one, but it will require an agency — either public or private — to guide you through it. If you are thinking about becoming a foster parent but aren't sure what the process of becoming licensed involves, take a look below at just three of the things you should prepare for as you work with an agency.
Undergoing a Basic Assessment
Beyond an initial conversation about your interest in being a foster parent, a representative of your chosen agency will ask you several additional questions in order to form an overall assessment of you and anyone else in your household. This will require being open and honest about a range of topics — everything from your own childhood to what you like to do in your free time. While this assessment is often extensive, it is best to think of it as an opportunity to introduce you and your family to the foster parent licensing agency. Make the most of it by familiarizing yourself with your agency's specific procedures, but don't script every answer to every questionnaire — what's most important is to provide a genuine impression.
Contacting Potential References
Being a foster parent involves a lot of responsibility, so it is only natural that the licensing procedure doesn't end with just one assessment. Your agency will want to get a better sense of your life from those who know you best, which is why you'll likely be asked to provide at least three different references. These should be people who can testify to your interest in being a foster parent, as well as your overall capability.
Completing a Home Safety Appraisal
Expect that your agency will concern themselves with more than just you as an individual; they'll also want to inspect your place of residence to make sure it is suitable for any foster children who might live there. Be prepared to have an agency representative check your home for potential risks and submit written reports that may include recommendations on how your home can be made even safer. If you live in a modern building with reliable utilities, then there is likely no need to worry, but the importance of home safety in the foster parent licensing process shouldn't be underestimated.
For more information about foster parent licensing, contact a professional.