In Georgia, 11,000 children and young people are in a situation where they cannot live with their biological parents. Foster parents provide stable, loving environments in which a child or young person can grow and develop.
Becoming a Foster Parent
StepStone Family & Youth Services of Georgia wants to guide you along your path of becoming a foster parent. The most important characteristics of a good foster parent are empathy, resilience, perseverance and possessing the caring and commitment to provide a loving home for a child.
It means more than sharing a home. A foster family must make the child feel like part of their own family, with the same rights and responsibilities of any other family member. Providing a loving environment that is stable, safe and supportive can make all the difference in a child’s life and help facilitate a successful future for that child.
Foster Parent Process
Before becoming a foster parent, background checks need to be completed along with a home study that includes interviews with the members of your family. This home study is comprehensive so that we as an agency and DFCS understand the dynamics of your household and the family members within it. This is important so that the state can ensure a safe, stable and loving placement for the child or young person.
Once the process is complete, StepStone receives referrals from the DFCS offices, and you will be provided information about each child. The process of referral and information gathering often takes place quickly to place a child in a home.
Requirements of Foster Care
The first requirement if a home, apartment or condo that can accommodate the child and their needs. Additionally, these requirements must be met:
- Age 25 +
- Pass a drug screen
- Pass a complete state and federal background check
- Have health insurance and complete a medical exam
- Have a valid Georgia Driver’s License and auto insurance
- Meet home safety requirements
- Have available space in your home for a child
- Provide employment and family references
- Sufficient income
- Attend IMPACT foster parent training program
- Complete CPR, First Aid, and Water Safety Training
Foster Parent Support
An assigned Case Manager will help guide foster parents through the process and remain a primary point of contact. The child or young person will also have an assigned Case Worker at the Department of Children and Families.
Once the child is placed, the Case Manager and the DFCS Case Worker will be available for support. A Case Management Supervisor will also help support you and the Case Manager.