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Foster parenting


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  #1  
October 29th, 2006, 09:18 PM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central California
Posts: 16,959
Does anyone have a foster child? I was considering doing foster care for infants to keep my baby fever under control. We can't afford another baby for a long time, if ever. But since foster care issues a cash support check each month for taking care of the baby, I could do that and ease my baby fever. I'm in CA. Does anyone know the process for becoming a foster parent and how likely it is to get an infant (preferably between 4mos-18mos old)? How much is the cash benefit? Is it true that most foster parents actually lose money because of such small benefit checks?

I know back when my parents were foster parents (8-10yrs ago) they got WIC for the kids too so I was thinking that if the program still offers that, then it should cover formula. Plus if a baby boy was placed with me he could wear my boys' hand-me-downs. Our budget is so tight I just couldn't afford to do it if I would lose money, plus I think I would actually need to turn a profit to get dh to agree to it Any other info would be great too.

I might even be willing to do cradle care-anyone have info about that?

Thanks.
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  #2  
October 29th, 2006, 09:38 PM
Jinxcat's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Overthere
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Quote:
Does anyone have a foster child? I was considering doing foster care for infants to keep my baby fever under control. We can't afford another baby for a long time, if ever. But since foster care issues a cash support check each month for taking care of the baby, I could do that and ease my baby fever. I'm in CA. Does anyone know the process for becoming a foster parent and how likely it is to get an infant (preferably between 4mos-18mos old)? How much is the cash benefit? Is it true that most foster parents actually lose money because of such small benefit checks?

I know back when my parents were foster parents (8-10yrs ago) they got WIC for the kids too so I was thinking that if the program still offers that, then it should cover formula. Plus if a baby boy was placed with me he could wear my boys' hand-me-downs. Our budget is so tight I just couldn't afford to do it if I would lose money, plus I think I would actually need to turn a profit to get dh to agree to it Any other info would be great too.

I might even be willing to do cradle care-anyone have info about that?

Thanks.[/b]

I have worked in Foster Care for over 5 years and I hope that I can answer some of your questions. In Chicago, in order to become a foster parent you must be able to support the child. The board check is a supplement and not meant as full support. You would have to pay for most of the child's expenses. You would have to show proof of income that you can support this child. The child must have his own bed and in some cases, a seperate sleeping area away from other children, for example a female child cannot sleep in the same room as a male child regardless of age. If there is a 3 year age difference, a same sex child must have his/her own room. You can get on WIC and the child is provided a medical card, so medical expenses are covered as well. You would have to transport the child to medical visits and visits with him or her's mom. IF the child has therapy, you also need to find a way to get him there. In some cases, if you do not have a car, you would be provided assistance, but in Illinois it is encouraged that foster parents transport the child to and from wherever they need to go.

Foster parenting is hard, especially if the natural parent is in the picture. Despite all of that, though, I believe it is such a rewarding experience as well.

Good luck!
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  #3  
October 29th, 2006, 10:07 PM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central California
Posts: 16,959
Thanks for responding so quickly. I'm not afraid of qualifying. We are very financially stable and have a nice home in a safe neighborhood and 2 vehicles that are paid off. In fact, the only debt we have is our house payment. So when you say we need to show proof that we could support the child, if you mean provide safe transportation and a loving home with room for him, then we can definitely do that-we already have to pay for those things whether we have a foster child or not, kwim? We even have an extra bedroom.

But as far as day-to-day costs, like diapers, wipes, formula, gas for transportation, dr co-pays and OTC meds, and all the other expenses that come with a child, we cannot afford to take any more money out of our already tight budget, kwim? Actually, I would even love to nurse the baby if he was young enough to not have nipple confusion-I am still lactating and have plenty of milk. Is that allowed? I'm healthy and would be willing to go thru any health testing they required-that's part of the reason I thought maybe cradle-care would be a good option for me. Just because their mom's may be too sick to take care of them doesn't mean they don't deserve the healthiest start they can get, especially the poor drug-exposed babes.

Are infants in high demand? I really wouldn't want to take a baby away from a family who would consider adopting, but if there are babies that need homes and are having trouble being placed-I want them, kwim?
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  #4  
October 30th, 2006, 08:23 AM
m_westbro's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Texas y'all!
Posts: 17,144
I know very little about fostering, but wanted to say how much I admire parents who are willing to open their homes and hearts to children, especially when they know it is only temporary. Please keep us posted and good luck!
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  #5  
October 30th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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I don't think most foster agency's would allow a foster mom to Breast Feed. In most cases in foster care the goal is reunion with the natural parents not adoption. The parents still have some (if few) rights/say to how the child is treated. I imagine that the idea of a stranger breast feeding "their" baby would be very offensive and cause turmoil.
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  #6  
October 30th, 2006, 04:38 PM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central California
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Quote:
I don't think most foster agency's would allow a foster mom to Breast Feed. In most cases in foster care the goal is reunion with the natural parents not adoption. The parents still have some (if few) rights/say to how the child is treated. I imagine that the idea of a stranger breast feeding "their" baby would be very offensive and cause turmoil.[/b]
That makes sense, but it's sad.
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  #7  
November 7th, 2006, 12:17 PM
mommytutu's Avatar mom to Emma & Jacqueline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Bradenton, Fl
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I've actually be reading up on becoming a foster parent. From what I've learned, in Florida at least, you only have to prove that you can provide for your natural family - not the foster child. All expensives "should" be covered with the check. Of course, that typically only pays for the bare minimum. Anything extra would be out of your pocket. I highly doubt you would be able to turn a profit.

As for sharing rooms, in Florida same sex children can share a bedroom provided they have their own bed and dresser. Foster children cannot share a room with anyone 18+.

Here is a link that will provide more information for you. I suggest you read through the website, as well as call the number at the bottom of the page.

http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/cfsweb/FosterPare_350.htm
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  #8  
November 9th, 2006, 02:09 PM
MelanieDawn's Avatar Super Mommy
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Posts: 567
When i was in 8th grade my parents took in a couple foster children (this was about 9 years ago), first we had two sisters ages 5 and 10 and that was very hard because they fought constantly and put a lot of strain on my brothers who were 7 and 4. They were with us only 2 weeks (was supposed to be respite care but they could have stayed). After that we took in an infant who was born drug addicted. She was 2 1/2 months old. We were able to adopt her when she was 3. My sister is now 8 1/2 and such a valuable part of our family. I really recommend foster parenting but if you have other children just make sure that their emotionally growth and needs won't be sacrificed. My brother who was 4 when he had the kids is 13 now and he still remembers being belittled by the older girls.
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  #9  
November 11th, 2006, 07:29 PM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Central California
Posts: 16,959
Thank you for all of your help ladies!
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  #10  
November 14th, 2006, 07:41 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 661
I just wanted to throw 2 cents in for what it is worth---I have no personal experience with fostering a child but my aunt's family did. They were in California & I noticed you said you were too. If I were you, I would definitely check on California's laws/programs whatever it is called---seems like California is a lot different from other states & I am sure every state is probably a little different with their programs anyway but California is definitely its own system so I'd go to a CA source of info.

Good luck!
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  #11  
December 18th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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Posts: 287
i am in Texas so i am sure the laws are different but i have a friend who is fostering a baby right now. The baby is on wic and medicaid so they get formula free but the only check they got was $75 that was to be used for clothes only. They had to go buy him a car seat and anything extra out of their own money. They get $75 for clothes every 6 months so i would definately ask alot of questions.
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  #12  
January 13th, 2007, 04:05 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 26
I just want to add too that if you are looking to make a profit, fostering a child is NOT the best way to do it. I grew up in the system, going from one home to the next, until I was adopted at 9. I lived with the same family from 5-15 and they lost more money than anything because I had a lot of health problems and they still had to pay for all the food. They ended up adopting me but it wasn't a good situation.

However, I want to add that I do admire anybody who gets involved in foster care. I think it is sad that we as a thriving nation even NEED foster care but I am thankful to some of the families that did end up taking me in. Good luck in your persuit of this. I hope things work out for you all if you trully find you can handle a third child.
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