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Find out what steps are involved in the process of becoming a foster parent.

familyIf you would like to become a foster parent, here are the steps you must follow:

Step 1: Inquiry Prospective foster parent(s) inquire about foster care via phone, internet, or in-person.

Step 2: Information The GCC Recruitment specialist will contact the inquirer within 3 days to schedule the inquirer from an information session. All couples must attend a session. The prospective foster parent(s) attends the informational session. If the applicant(s) decide to proceed with the process they will receive an application packet that will include: the application with a live scan and CPS request forms, Questionnaire 1 (a component of the home assessment), prior orientation, and a required documents checklist.

Step 3: Application Prospective caregiver(s) will be allowed ten (10) business days to return the application packet with the live scan form, CPS screening request forms, and Questionnaire 1.

(If the applicant submits the application within 10 business days from the informational date with all minimum required documents the applicant will receive 1 free drug screening per caregiver. Minimum required documents for the free drug screening will include a driver’s license (for those of driving age), birth certificates, social security cards for everyone in the household, and proof of car insurance (insurance card). This free screening must be redeemed at Macon Occupational Medicine in Macon, GA only.)

All applications will be reviewed by the recruiter once submitted to ensure at least the minimum qualifications to foster are met.

Step 4: If requirements are met a prospective caregiver(s) will be scheduled for a home inspection/orientation in the home. The recruiter will provide the applicant(s) with the onboarding package, an updated required documents checklist, and the foster parent manual and bill of rights. All onboarding forms and required documents must be returned no later than 3 weeks from the orientation.

Applicants will also undergo all safety record checks to include a fingerprint live scan background check, Child Protective Services, Sex Offenders Registry, Pardon and Parole, and Department of Correction Check for all adults residing in the foster home that are over the age of 18. All safety checks must be completed on everyone over the age of 18 in the home.

Step 5: Pre-Service Training Prospective caregiver(s) will be scheduled for 24 hours of (in-class) IMPACT training. All adult household members who will be involved in the parenting of the child must be IMPACT trained. This phase may be skipped if you have had IMPACT in the last three years and if the certificate is available. Prospective foster parents will also be scheduled for 4 additional hours of agency training.

Step 6: SAFE Home Evaluation Prospective foster parents will be assigned a home assessor for the Structured Analysis Family Evaluation process. This home evaluation process consists of a thorough assessment of the home and all residents within the home. The home and family will be carefully evaluated to ensure it meets all acceptable standards for the child. This will happen either simultaneously while being Impact trained or within 1-2 weeks after Impact training. The home assessor will complete a minimum of 3 home visits over a 3-4 weeks timeframe. Visits will involve interviewing all household members, reviewing your home study questionnaire, and evaluating the home for safety and all home requirements. All documents from the “required documents checklist” must be completed for the home study to be completed.

Step 7: Approval All home evaluations will be reviewed and approved by the ED. After such approval, all necessary documents will be input into GA Score for home approval by DFCS. Generational Child Care’s DFCS resource developer will approve all homes prior to the placement of a child. Once approved, the matching process will begin. This process will include using information from the “matching interest form” and the “caregiver placement preference form” to help match your foster family to a foster child. Once matched the foster parent(s) will receive referral information about the child matched. If the foster parent accepts the child, fostering will begin.

Minimum Requirements Checklist

  • Applicants and all residents in the foster home over the age of 18 must have a clean criminal record check to include no felonies and serious misdemeanors.
  • The home should have sufficient sleeping arrangements in a bedroom to include at least 1 bed and 1 dresser per child.
  • Applicant has homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance and car insurance. Applicant must have their own transportation.
  • Applicant has an income surplus (ie. You can pay all bills with your income) and is financially independent.
  • Applicant is a GA resident. Applicant is at least 25 years of age.
  • Applicant is literate and knows how to read and write.
  • Applicant is willing to submit to a home study (a thorough and critical evaluation of the foster family and home).
  • Applicant lives in a safe neighborhood (with little criminal activity).
  • Applicant is free of the use of any illegal drugs and paraphernalia.
  • Applicant has a mortgage or leasing agreement.

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