Lots of potential foster parents ask us what the foster parent approval process parent looks like. So many, in fact, that we decided to lay out the steps to becoming a foster parent in this post!
Read on for the 11-step checklist to becoming a foster parent with KYJO:
Step 1: Attend an Initial Orientation
Every third Tuesday, we invite potential foster parents to attend an initial orientation at our offices. The orientation runs from 6 pm to 8 pm. During these orientations, we detail how our Foster Family Agency operates, the requirements for becoming a foster parent, and the next steps in the certification process. We also answer any questions you might have and help you complete your application.
Step 2: Complete an Application Packet
At orientation, we provide a folder that contains all the forms you must complete as you apply, as well as a list of additional documents you must obtain. In addition to completing the forms included in the folder, you must provide a copy of your driver’s license, proof of car insurance, and a copy of your car registration.
However, you can complete the application process at your own pace! Some parents turn all their paperwork in at once, while others complete each piece as they move through the process.
Step 3: Complete Trauma Informed Care Training
Next, you must complete our 16–hour Trauma Informed Care Training Course. This course takes place at our office and is taught by a KYJO Resource Parent Trainer.
The training course helps new foster parents learn how to respond appropriately to the behaviors and emotional challenges of traumatized children. It teaches you how to help these children develop healthy attachments, recognize their strengths, and develop coping strategies.
Step 4: Attend the Guide to Becoming a Resource Parent Class
At this class, our Resource Parent Trainer provides important information that will help you and your family transition smoothly into becoming a foster family. This training includes a review of the approval process, a guide to accepting placements, and an overview of the Child Protective Services court process. Your trainer will also explain what will be expected of you as a mandated reporter, and the proper protocol in the event of an emergency or disruptive incident.
Step 5: Attend a Water Safety Course
Whether or not your home includes a pool, every foster parent must complete this course to ensure they are prepared in the event an emergency occurs near a body of water. This class costs $12 per person to attend, but KYJO will reimburse the cost after you complete your foster parent certification.
Step 6: Attend a Safe Sleep Abusive Head Trauma Class
If you plan to foster children under the age of 4, you must attend a Safe Sleep Abusive Head Trauma Class. This course teaches potential parents about Shaken Baby Syndrome, safe sleeping practices, and other important newborn and toddler safety tips. This class is held at Fresno City College and offered free of charge.
Step 7: Complete a LIVESCAN Fingerprint Clearance
All adults over age 18 who reside in your home must complete a criminal history background clearance. To do so, you must go to one of Fresno County’s several LIVESCAN fingerprinting locations and complete the (very quick) LIVESCAN process. LIVESCAN costs $80 per person, but KYJO will reimburse this cost after you complete your certification.
Step 8: Complete a Health Screening and TB Test
All adults in your home must complete and pass a health screening and TB test.
Step 9: Complete a Home Visit and Interviews
One of our social workers will visit your home and conduct a series of two to three interviews. During these interviews, you will answer a SAFE Home Study questionnaire and discuss your answers with the interviewer.
These interviews allow us to gauge whether recent life events may have affected your home dynamic, match you with foster children, and complete a pre-inspection of your home. This pre-inspection will help you prepare for your final inspection later in the process.
Step 10: Complete a CPR/First Aid Training Course
All foster parents must be CPR/First Aid certified so they can provide first aid in the event of a life–threatening emergency. After you complete your initial home visit and interviews, we’ll provide you with a free online CPR/First Aid training course that you must complete.
Step 11: Complete Your Final Home Inspection
Finally, you must pass a home inspection. Our KYJO Credentialist will visit your home to make sure it conforms to our standards and complies with the safety and cleanliness standards set by the State of California. Before your inspection, we’ll provide you with a list of the requirements you must meet to pass the home inspection.