Become a Foster Parent
The Foundation for Foster and Orphan Children believes that we have a responsibility to be the voice of foster care and adoption so that every child finds a family. We exist to assist foster care organizations and group homes with the placement of children and improve the overall quality of life for foster and orphan children. We promote foster care and adoption by educating the public about foster care and children in need of permanent homes. Through the money we raise, we are able to provide free resources to teenage children, free clothing, school supplies, and items of necessity to children in need.
Every child is deserving of a stable, safe home.
Citizens can make a difference for over 430,000 children currently in foster care and the over 5,000 children in foster care in Virginia.
Our Foundation work with advocates, foster and adoptive parents, child welfare professionals and support groups to improve the quality of life for children in the foster care system.
There are hundreds of children in Virginia's foster care system who require temporary out-of-home care because of neglect, abuse or exploitation. The preferred placement of children who require out-of-home care is with relatives.
If a home with relatives is not a possibility, foster parents and other caretakers provide a supportive and stable environment for children who cannot live with their birth parents until family problems are resolved. Foster parents change lives one child at a time. They believe in investing in the future of our children. We encourage responsible adults to consider making this very important investment.
According to the Children's Bureau Data Team for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there were over 763,000 children confirmed to be victims of maltreatment as of 2009. There were also approximately 435,000 children in foster care and approximately 28,000 children aged out of the foster care system without a permanent, loving family.
As of 2006, research supports that children in foster care are more likely to endure homelessness, poverty, and unemployment.
Here are the facts:
54% earn a high school diploma
2% earn a Bachelor's degree or higher
51% are unemployed
25% experience homelessness*
*U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau,
How to Become a Foster Parent
Foster parents provide a temporary, safe home for children in crisis. Children who need foster families have been removed from their birth family homes for reasons of neglect, abuse, abandonment, or other issues endangering their health and/or safety. Many of these children are filled with fear, anger, confusion, or a sense of powerlessness at having been removed from the only home they have ever known.
To become a foster parent, contact your local department of social services for more information because each local department works with new families in somewhat different ways but all prospective foster parents experience the following:
A one-time orientation meeting to "learn what foster parenting is all about"
Work with a foster family recruiter to discuss your interest in being a foster parent and the types of children who need foster families
Complete a mutual assessment process which includes several meetings with you and other family members to:
Make sure you have ample space, enough beds and space for the child to keep his belongings, meet basic fire and safety rules
Make sure you are physically and emotionally capable of caring for a child and have no substance abuse problems
Be able to pass a criminal history check
Make enough money to provide for your own family so you do not have to rely on the foster care reimbursement you receive an income.
Attend training to help you develop greater understanding of the trauma these children have suffered and new skills for relating to the children.
*information provided by Virginia Department of Social Services