What do I need to do and how long does it take to become a therapeutic foster/adoptive parent?
For certification as a foster parent or foster-to-adopt parent, you are required to obtain certain Governmental requirements and Circles of Care requirements. These include attending classes in First Aid & CPR, Psychotropic Medication, and Emergency Behavior Intervention (SAMA, PAPH, CPI). The medication class and Managing Aggressive Behavior class is provided to you by Circles of Care, and the CPR & First Aid class is either provided by or paid by Circles of Care. There are also other classes Circles of Care offers that you must attend on such topics as: Abuse and Neglect, effective communication, behavior management, and separation and loss.
You are also required to receive 40 hours of supervision/training from another therapeutic foster family before working with Specialized children/youth. You can work with Basic Care and Moderate Care children without this requirement. Volunteer or work experience with children who have emotional and/or behavioral problems may substitute for the 40 hours of supervision.
There are several other requirements such as receiving a Fire and Health Inspection on your home. Circles of Care currently reimburses you up to 75.00 for the required Fire and Health Inspection fees that are charged by the city or county departments who must conduct these inspections and $100.00 for a gas inspection if the residence has or uses natural gas. Everyone living in the home must also receive a TB test. Circles of Care currently reimburses up to $10.00 to have the TB test completed on the foster parents and any children living in the home under the age of 18. In addition, you must complete a Home Study with a Circles of Care social worker. The Home Study is giving background information on you and your family and Circles of Care assessing your ability to work with children and the types of children you would best care for. Car insurance as well as Renters or Home Owners insurance is also required to be carried.
Circles of Care normally certifies a family within 3 months. This period also depends on you and how quickly you can complete all the requirements. Some families take longer because of work schedules or other circumstances.
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