How To Become A Foster Parent In Virginia
Can I Become a Foster Parent in Virginia?
What do I need to know about foster care in Virginia
Nurture, support, and safety are all critical elements to the healthy development of children. These elements are especially vital for children and foster youth in the foster care system. There are approximately 5,000 children in foster care in the Commonwealth of Virginia alone, 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 or an adoptive family?
What qualities are essential to becoming a successful foster parent?
Let's start with the basics. According to the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS), here are the following requirements and steps to becoming a foster parent in the state of Virginia: Must be at least 18 years old. Attend a one-time orientation meeting to learn what foster parenting is all about.
Successfully complete pre-service training, usually four further sessions. Complete a home study which is three home visits in person. Participate in at least three (3) face-to-face interviews.
Submit a national Fingerprint Criminal Record check to complete the background checks process. Submit a child abuse and neglect history check with the state or local department of social services.
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. 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 guarantees your aptitude to financially support a child placed in your home through regular foster care or treatment foster care.
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. Still, the intention is pure to guarantee the safety and well-being of children in foster care.
"Am I the right person(s) to become a foster parent?"
Well, there are five essential qualities to becoming a successful foster parent who will provide a safe haven for children in foster care: flexibility, compassion, dedication, patience, and passion. Flexibility to adapt to the complexities that may arise in fostering a child may be a challenge with the child care or with a birth parent.
You will be invited to a monthly support group, some are mandatory and others are optional. Remember, the goal of foster care is to have a child return home to their biological parents. This can be tough on a foster parent, but providing a safe foster home for a child in a crisis is your mission.
Compassion for the trauma they have endured with a deep understanding of the definition of trauma-focused. The children could come from a background of emotional abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, sexual activities, and other mental health issues. Your role as an adoptive parent will be to provide the children in foster care with therapeutic and trauma-centered interventions to successfully achieve permanency with their biological parents.
Patience in the process in which children in foster care grieve and individually experience and deal with 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 Virginia and can experience the rewards of being a foster parent.
In the words (Maybe not) 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.