1. How long are children in foster care?
Foster care is designed to provide children with a home away from home in hopes of later reuniting with their biological parents once the home environment is deemed safe. The goal is to have permanency for the child(ren) within a year.
The length of time a child is in foster care varies. The completion of the case plan determines the length of time. Each biological parent must complete their case plan for child(ren) to re-enter their care. Some birth parents complete their case plans quickly, while others complete it slowly, and others, unfortunately, never complete it.
Additionally, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) is required to search for suitable relatives with whom the child can be placed until they can return to their birth parents’ home. Therefore, sometimes children are placed in a foster home initially and then moved to a relative’s home within a few days/weeks/months.
2. Can I request a particular age to foster?
Yes, our staff will work with you to determine the number of children, gender of children, and age(s) that will best work for your home. One More Child’s placement team will contact you regarding potential placements for a child/children who meet(s) these criteria.
3. Where would the child go to school?
The state prefers that foster children remain in the same schools that they were attending while living with their parents for a sense of normalcy. Foster parents are expected to transport foster children to school when they are able, but foster children can also ride a bus. When neither of these transportation options are possible, a state transporter may be available to assist with getting the child to and from school. The last choice is to move the child to a different school and requires a staffing to obtain approval.
4. Can foster children share a bedroom with my child?
Yes, foster children can share bedrooms with children of the same gender, but they cannot share a bed. Bunk beds are considered two separate beds. However, a double or queen-sized bed would only count as one bed.
No child under the age of 6 can sleep on the top bunk. Babies can sleep in a crib in the bedroom with the foster parent(s) until the age of 1; at which point, they can no longer share a room with an adult. Cribs may NOT have a drop-down side. “PackNPlays” are NOT approved for sleeping purposes. Every foster child mush have his/her own bed and storage space (i.e.: closet or dresser).
5. What if the child needs to see a doctor or has prescription medication?
Foster children are eligible for Medicaid, through Sunshine Health, which can be used to take them to the physician/dentist and to fill prescription medication. If you have a pediatrician you are already using, you can ask if they accept this insurance. If not, you can choose a provider from a list of doctors on their website.
6. Is there financial assistance for child care?
Yes, the state provides assistance with childcare and after-school childcare if the foster parent is single or if both foster parents work.
Based on the rate the daycare charges, the assistance may cover 100% of the daycare fees or a portion thereof. If the Day Care Voucher does not cover 100% of the fees, the foster parent will pay the balance. Foster parents must use daycares that have an agreement with the State of Florida. The Early Learning Coalition will help you find an approved day care facility near your home or work, whichever you prefer.
Foster parents additionally receive a daycare stipend for children ages 0-5. These funds are to help with daycare costs and are usually about $200 per child.
7. Do foster parents receive any financial support?
Yes, based on the child’s age, foster parents receive a monthly stipend to help off-set the cost of caring for the foster child. Currently, the monthly stipend is as follows:
- Ages 0-5: $551.64
- Ages 6-12: $565.74
- Ages 13-21: $662.19
8. How many children can be placed in a home?
The state does not generally allow more than six dependent children, or up to eight children in a home. Also, the state will not allow more than two children under the age of 2 in a home. At times, an “overcap” can be granted in order to keep siblings together or when no other home is available.
9. How is fostering with One More Child different from fostering through the state or an agency?
All of our staff and foster parents must be Born-Again Christians and be actively involved in a evangelical church (which may or may not be a Baptist church). Our foster parents are expected and required to take the foster children to church with them. Overall, One More Child provides more support to foster parents/children than is typical for other agencies. We receive many donations such as clothing and toys that foster parents can access to get supplies for the foster children.
In many areas, churches partner with us to provide additional support to our foster parents. In most areas, we require that all placements in our foster homes go through our placement team to ensure that children and foster families are closely matched. We also provide 24-hour emergency on-call coverage 365 days a year to ensure that foster parents receive the support they need day and night.
Many foster parents meet with our staff (in person or via Zoom) on a regular basis to receive training, fellowship, and pray with each other.
10. Are foster parents allowed to take foster children with them when they travel?
Yes, traveling in state is allowed as long as the family notifies the child’s caseworker of where they are going. Traveling outside of the state requires advance notice and permission from the biological caregiver or the child or a court order. The only time this requirement is waived is during Hurricane Season when an emergency evacuation is in place.
11. Can we have pets and be foster parents?
Yes, some pets will require vaccinations such as dogs and cats. Any animals or livestock that the families have will be assessed for safety and documented in the home study.
12. What do I have to do to have my home ready?
This information will be provided when you attend an information session. Sign up to attend today!
13. Can I adopt through the foster care system?
While it is possible to adopt your foster child, the goal of foster care is for children to be reunified with their biological family. We never know when a child comes into care if that child will become available for adoption. Therefore, every foster parent should have the expectation that the children in their care will be reunified.
Should the courts determine that it is not possible for a child to be reunified and remain safe, a judge will terminate the biological parents’ rights and workers will attempt to find relatives of the child who are interested in adopting him/her. If no relatives are able to provide care for the child, the foster parents are typically given the option to adopt the child.