How Long Does it Take to Become a Foster Parent in Virginia?

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How Long Does It Take to Become a Foster Parent?

On Average, you will be Looking at 120 Days to be licensed.

When you are looking to start the journey to become a foster parent, you will need to reflect on the energy you wish to put into becoming a foster parent or an adoptive parent; the journey is the same as becoming licensed in the foster care system. As a new foster parent starting the process, it will make a real difference in how long it takes to become a foster parent by your effort to complete training and the paperwork, and the home study.

The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) tells the Child Placing Agencies (CPA) and the local departments of social services what paperwork they need and what process to do to receive your license in Virginia and become a licensed foster home.

Every agency is separate from each other, and every piece of paperwork is also different within these agencies, but all the paperwork comes from the same law controlling foster care; if you decide to use us or another agency, you are undertaking the same legal journey to graduate as a foster parent. If you wish to adopt or foster, the process is the same. 

When looking at a time frame to achieve your license and complete your Home Study, I recommend asking your CPA: What is your average time frame to become licensed? I believe that you should be looking at 100 days.

Due to some documentation, for example, your State background checks need to be sent to Virginia State Police and DSS. With a typical turnaround of 30 days, you would also need to complete three Home Study interviews over three weeks and 40 hours of training, including CPR shaken baby awareness training that 90 days starts right away.

If you have excellent availability and are willing to complete all the paperwork promptly, these 90 days can decrease. If you are looking for a 30-day turnaround to be licensed, you are not a Senator or have fantastic contacts in DSS and the State police. I can not promise anything short-term, but our record holder is 44 days held by a Richmond city DSS social worker.

You see yourself as an average nice person with a commitment to becoming a foster parent; I would recommend you mark out three months until your first foster child is available for placement. Please remember that family members and partners must be involved in the process to be licensed in foster care in Virginia. We have over 5000 children in foster care in Virginia, so do not be so concerned about the time but the commitment to help foster children find a safe and loving home to stay with or, in the case of an adoptive family, a forever home.

When you are looking for a partner to become a foster parent and give a child in need a safe home. Your goal is to help and reunite them with their bio family and return home when the time is right. If you are interested in keeping sibling groups together, please let us know this as well, as the need to support siblings is always a challenge to find parents willing to have an instant family.

Please remember you should look at your family as a fantastic resource for the community and a child in need, and you should always be respected for your beliefs and traditions in your family. Always look at the agency and their ideas and what barriers they put in place they may have for you to be one of their families.  All CPAs have support groups that meet each month; this is a requirement for all agencies in the child welfare system. These groups are a great resource regarding hearing about good child care in the local area clubs that support our community.

I hope you find this foster care valuable blog for your journey to becoming a foster parent. It is a fantastic journey, it is not meant to be easy to become a foster parent, but it should not be so hard that you can not achieve your goal of helping a child in need. We have over five thousand kids needing a loving and safe home tonight in Virginia; please take the first step in this adventure by clicking this link. 

The Harder you Work, the Faster the Journey to Becoming a Foster Parent.


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