When it comes to the goal of Foster Care, permanency in one of the highest priorities. Permanency, or a permanent living situation, can look different for every child in foster care based on their unique situation or needs.
To better understand how we strive to provide stability and permanency for the children in foster care we serve, here is a look at some ways we can reach this goal.
Reunification with Biological Family
When a child is removed from their home or biological family, they are placed in a foster home. The family from which they were removed is then given a plan and support to correct or rectify any issues which made it an unsafe living environment. This is a plan put in place and monitored by the courts or a judge. These plans range in the time frame and goals but can include, finding suitable living conditions, taking parenting classes, participating in drug abuse classes and having clean drug tests, etc.
In many cases, these goals are met and children in foster care are able to return to their families safely. This is always the first choice of permanency for foster children when safe and possible to do so.
Should the family not be progressing towards their goals within a year the judge will begin to determine if parental rights should be terminated. If termination is the result, the child will then be placed in either permanent foster care or could become foster to adopt.
Permanent Foster Care
Permanent foster care refers to a long-term contract between foster parents and the Department of Social Services. By signing this contract the foster parents agree to care for the child until the age of 18.
Typically permanent foster care is reserved for children aged 14 and over. The most common instance when permanent foster care is the result is when the child in foster care is over the minimum age and does not desire adoption.
Foster to Adopt
Once parental rights have been officially terminated, the Department of Social Services will work to find a child an adoptive home. In this case, fostering to adopt can be an option for foster parents who are interested.
This type of care is when a grandparent or another blood relative agrees to care for a child. Relatives are preferred placements for children because it helps to maintain family bonds and relationships. Kinship care also helps to ensure stability for a child in care while providing the Department of Social Services with information about the child’s medical and family history.
For More on Foster Care…
Foster care in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky is ultimately a road to permanency. Having a permanent and safe living situation is ideal for children and teens. At Benchmark Family Services we are passionate about filling this integral role with the foster parents we work with in providing the children and teens we serve with safe and welcoming foster homes on the road to permanency.
For more information about foster care or becoming a foster parent contact our team at Benchmark Family Services today.