Am I qualified to be a foster parent?
Many people do not become foster parents because they think they are not qualified. Here is what our foster parents look like:
There are some qualities all of our foster parents need. They need to:
Since most of the children we serve primarily speak English, it is important to be able to communicate clearly in English. Also, because some documentation is required, it is also important to be able to read and write clearly.
Who is required to be certified?
It is our expectation all Kerr foster parents go through the complete training. However, we understand work schedules can make that difficult and we will work with you to find flexible ways to meet your training requirements. In addition, any other adult providing care for a Kerr foster child must be a certified respite provider. Also, any person age 18 or older who resides or is regularly in your home (for example, spends the night on numerous occasions) must pass a background check. Under no circumstances can a Kerr foster child be cared for by someone who is not approved as a respite provider.
What if I am already a certified foster parent?
It is our policy not to allow homes to be dual-certified. Therefore, if you are already certified with another agency, you will need to decide when to close your current certification. You are welcome to attend trainings, but until you have made contact with your agency’s certifier, signed a release of information so we can contact your current certifier, and decide when to close the existing certification, we will be unable to move forward. If you are currently caring for people, it is important to have a well-prepared transition.
How long is the process?
You should plan on the certification process taking a minimum of eight weeks and up to twelve weeks, depending on your availability for training. Training schedules are available in advance to help with planning. The time it takes to become certified depends primarily upon you.
Do I get to choose my foster child?
Albertina Kerr uses a team concept. You are going to be a valuable part of this team and will have input into most of the decisions made about any child placed in your home. For example, some families are only able to care for girls; some only can care for boys. There are those who prefer working with younger children and others who want teenagers. It is important you communicate about the type of child you believe is best suited for your home.
However, these preferences often affect how long it takes to place a child. In addition, we provide care for children from different family and cultural backgrounds. It is important you remain open and willing to work with a variety of individual and cultural differences. Our goal is to make as good a match as possible. It is very important for you to understand that placements of foster children are always based upon the child’s needs.
Do foster parents get paid?
You will receive a generous stipend each month which is to reimburse you for the costs of caring for the child. That means purchasing clothes, offsetting education fees, helping pay for camps, etc. As the foster parent of the child placed in your home, it is your primary responsibility to provide for these items. Here is a basic principle to follow: whatever I purchase for my own child, I need to be willing to do for a foster child living in my home.
Have more questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-290-4000.