The Purpose of Foster Care

Foster care exists to provide a family and their child(ren) with an alternative to living together in the unfortunate case that being in the same home is either unsafe or impossible. Foster care may also be used for children who are suddenly in the position of having no family or home. In either case, the goal of this agency is to assist the child with the reunification with its family-of-origin. In the case of a child or children whose parent's rights are terminated, Fostering Futures is committed to supporting and assisting those clients in the acquisition of an adoptive family. It is the belief of the agency that all children need a place to call home.

Foster child Specific reasons for the placement of a child in foster care include several different scenarios. Parents might be unable to care for their children due to illness, death, or economic conditions. There may also be situations of abuse or neglect that have required youth to be removed from the home. The parents and family may not be able to provide supervision or direction that is needed to keep the child(ren) out of a foster care placement. Such youth may be in a position to work towards reunification with other family members, and in that case, a foster care placement enables them to safely participate in family and community life until they can enter a placement with family. In these cases, youth may eventually be placed with extended family, who can be licensed as foster parents through Fostering Futures.

The youth is prepared for post-placement (return to their original home) throughout their time in foster care through family therapy and individual therapy, as provided by their masters-level foster care worker and therapist. The foster care staff will work with the local Department of Human Services, the child, the foster parents and the family-of-origin throughout the youth's placement to create and monitor a post-placement plan which will be stated in the quarterly service plans. While some post-placement plans will aim to return a child home, others may be set up to prepare a youth for Independent Living or adoption.

Criteria for choosing the best foster home for a child include:

  • The case plan which includes the goal of permanence.
  • The physical and emotional and safety needs of the child(ren).
  • Proximity to the child(ren)s' family.
  • Placement within kinship family network of the child(ren).
  • Placement with siblings of the child(ren).
  • The child(ren)s' and the child(ren)s' family's religions preference.
  • The least restrictive, i.e. most family-like setting.
  • The continuity of relationships.
  • The age range of the youth.
  • A preference for gender or culture.
  • Proficiency in the language spoken by the child(ren).
  • The anticipated behaviors the child(ren) may exhibit.
  • The foster family's own needs.
  • Special skills or attributes of the foster family.
  • Availability of placement resources for the purpose of timely placements.