How to Become a Foster Parent
To be considered for Foster Parent Certification with Benchmark Family Services
Age requirements vary by state.
- Child Abuse Registry Check – To be completed on all applicable household residents.
- Employer – For each employed parent.
- Safety Audit of the Home – To be completed with the Home Study by BFS staff.
- References – To be obtained during training process.
- Pre-Service Training – To obtain information on total hours required as well as information regarding the training schedule.
- First Aid, CPR and Blood-born Pathogens Training – If currently certified in any of these areas, submit copies of your certification card.
- Medical Clearance – Must be obtained for all household residents.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is expected of me as a foster parent?
Q: What is expected of me as a foster parent?
A: We expect our foster parents to provide a loving, nurturing and structured home.
Can I foster for more than one agency at a time?
Q: Can I foster for more than one agency at a time?
A: No… regulations do not allow individuals to foster for more than one agency at a time.
What if I feel I don’t have what it takes to foster?
Q: What if I feel I don’t have what it takes to foster?
A: You may choose to help serve in another capacity such as volunteering with the agency or providing respite care for foster youth.
Can I become a foster parent if I have had charges on my police record?
Q: Can I become a foster parent if I have had charges on my police record?
A: If you have had charges, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t foster. If you have pled guilty to, or have been convicted of, any crimes against children or domestic violence, Benchmark will not license you. Other charges may be discussed with Benchmark staff.
How are a child’s medical needs covered?
Q: How are a child’s medical needs covered?
A: Each child is issued a Medical Card.
What do I have to do if I am interested in becoming a foster parent?
Q: What do I have to do if I am interested in becoming a foster parent?
A: You can contact our office through the contact page and set up an orientation with a member of our staff. This orientation is to inform you about our agency and answer any other questions you may have concerning fostering or the certification process. This orientation does not obligate you to foster for our agency.
Do the children see their birth families?
Q: Do the children see their birth families?
A: It depends on the individual circumstances. Most children have visitation with their birth families, unless their parental rights have been terminated. Visitation supports a child’s return home.
How much training am I required to have and what steps are taken to become certified as a foster parent?
Q: How much training am I required to have and what steps are taken to become certified as a foster parent?
A: All pre-service training must be completed prior to certification. The number of hours for pre-service training varies by state. Following certification, foster parents must attend ongoing training to maintain certification. These hours also vary by state. Training schedules are flexible and Benchmark is committed to working with our families to help them complete their training requirements.
What is the average age of children Benchmark Family Services works with?
Q: What is the average age of children Benchmark Family Services works with?
A: Most children are older than 12 years of age. Children younger than 12 are usually in a sibling group which require placement together.