The application process to become a foster parent can be a strenuous one. The timetables truly depend on the parent’s dedication to complete each and every step of the process. The key is staying driven, and keeping your eyes on the end goal.
One of the problems that arise in the foster care system is that of the governmental legal procedures. You know this if you’ve ever been to the DMV. The Government must cover themselves legally against parents who may want to take legal actions against them. That means that the foster parents must go through extensive background checks, home studies, and training hours. They are doing their very best to make it HARD to become a foster parent because they don’t want to get these children to “just anyone”. All the while they are asking you “are you sure you want to do this?” We see this as a GOOD thing that you should be asking yourself anyway. But don’t lose heart!
Some of the steps include references, fingerprinting, medical exams, forfeiture of financial info, foster parent training hours, and, of course, background checks. Many foster care/adoptive agencies offer these training courses, but many only put them on a few times a year.
There are some things that you want to complete before the others. The first thing you should do is figure out where and when you can get those classroom hours. Then schedule the rest of the steps around that. Get your fingerprinting and background checks in early, because those require a lengthy documentation process, and will take a while to get back to you.
Despite the long process, the most important steps are the ones you can take are the ones that set you up for success in the long run. That means continued motivation. Do this by remembering who you are helping. You don’t want to get to the end of the process just to be completely exhausted!
Remember, keep your head up! Stay driven, and remember that it’s worth it in the end.