Can I become a foster parent in the State of Virginia?
Criteria & Qualifications to become a Foster parent in Virginia
Yes, you can; here are the things you need to know.
Nurture, support, and safety… are all critical elements to the healthy development of children. For children in foster care, these elements are especially vital. In Virginia alone, there are approximately 5000 children in foster care, with roughly 800 foster children in the Central Virginia region. The need for foster families in Virginia is dire. Not only to provide a nurturing and safe home but to support children in obtaining permanency. But what does it take to be a foster parent in Virginia? What are the qualifications and requirements to become a foster parent? What qualities are essential to becoming a successful foster parent?
Let's start with the basics. According to the Virginia Department of Social Services, these are the following requirements and steps to becoming a foster parent in the state of Virginia: Must be at least 18 years old, must attend a one-time orientation meeting to learn what foster parenting is all about, complete pre-service training, complete a home study, participate in at least three (3) face-to-face interviews, submit a national Fingerprint Criminal Record check, submit a child abuse and neglect history check, and submit a DMV check, provide a physician's report verifying that you are physically and mentally capable of caring for a child, verify that you have enough income to provide for your family, and submit the names of three (3) references. While this list may seem extensive, it confirms your capacity to become a foster parent while ensuring the safety and well-being of children potentially placed in your home. In addition, it provides your aptitude to support a child placed in your home financially. The thorough process of becoming a foster parent in Virginia may seem not only extensive but intrusive. The process opens up every aspect of your personal life, but the intention is to guarantee foster care children's safety and well-being.
Now you might be asking, "Am I the right person(s) to become a foster parent?" There are five essential qualities to becoming a successful foster parent who will provide a haven for children in foster care: flexibility, compassion, dedication, patience, and passion for flexibility. Flexibility to adapt to the complexities that may arise in fostering a child. Sympathy for the trauma they have ensured with a deep understanding of the definition of trauma-focused. Dedication to providing children in foster care the therapeutic and trauma-centered interventions to successfully achieve permanency. Patience for the process in which children in foster care grieve and individually experience trauma. Lastly, but most importantly, a passion for supporting children in foster care by all means necessary. I hope you are capable of becoming a foster parent in the state of Virginia and can experience the rewards of being a foster parent.
In the words of Mark Twain, "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." Becoming a foster parent to children in foster care in Virginia may be your answer.