Foster Parent FAQ
How foster care works
Yes! During the process of becoming a foster parent, we work with every family to identify the types of children who are most well suited for your home. We also keep the placement process as transparent as possible, sharing all referral information freely so that you can make an informed decision on fostering a particular child.
Yes, foster parents are reimbursed for every day a foster child is in their care. This can be referred to as a Foster "per diem." Money received by foster parents is not subject to taxes or considered income, though it is best to check with a tax advisor for your specific circumstances.
There are roughly 500,000 children living in the foster care system at any given time, but there are not enough foster parents to create a loving home for each of them. Research has shown that foster parents who provide stability, security and a good relationship can help young people to develop and mature emotionally. (Social Care Institute for Excellence).
There isn’t really a “typical” time frame because children are placed in foster care for so many different reasons. Some need temporary placement until a relative can be located. Others need a stable environment in which to finish school or until their parents can meet their treatment goals. Lastly, some children may need long-term to permanent care (adoption).
The “best” program is the one that leads to the greatest positive outcome for the child. That’s why we place such an emphasis on placing children in the home that best matches their needs, and also why we focus so heavily on using evidence-based practices. That along with Necco’s unmatched support, sense of family, and teamwork ensure every placement is as successful as possible.
Regulations and requirements for foster parenting differ from state to state. That makes it difficult to provide an accurate timeframe on the approval process. However, most of our parents complete all the steps in 3 to 6 months.
For some foster children, the goal is to reunify the child with his/her family. The reunification plan may involve scheduled visits with the child’s family or family therapy sessions. Other situations just require the foster parent to provide information regarding the child’s progress. In either instance, the case manager will explain the level of family contact that your foster child needs before placement.
The full list of requirements depends on the specific state you live in, but some criteria are universal. For instance, you must pass a background check, a health screening, a home study, and you must attend preparatory training classes. To ensure you meet all criteria for your state, contact your local Necco office.
There is no “waiting period” after your foster home is approved. It is not uncommon for foster parents to accept their first placement within days of their home being approved.
During your home study, you will be interviewed on the children that you feel you could best foster. We will ask you placement questions such as age range, gender, and sibling groups. The placement team will use this information to match foster children with foster homes.
First of all, we encourage applicants to have discussions with the entire family about the decision to foster. The next step is to contact your local office and speak with an Initial Licensing Specialist. Although the approval process can vary from state to state, generally, you can expect: Weekly training sessions, a home study, background checks, and a health screening.
Necco provides the highest level of support to both our foster parents and foster children. Using a team approach, our skilled staff of case managers and therapists are with you every step of the way. We will assist and help guide you through any decisions you need to make.
Adoption at Necco
All adoptive children have goals and plans determined by a team of individuals handling the case. To find out if you are able to adopt a specific child, reach out to your Necco Case Manager and Home Resource Coordinator.
Every adoption process and situation is different. In most cases, your family will be required to complete a Home Study. The home study helps to tell the story of your own family and why your family can meet the needs of this child.
Absolutely! We love to build families through adoptions! Your Home Resource Coordinator will establish that you are a foster to adopt home during your approval process. This will help match children who are looking for a loving, adoptive home.
All of our adoptive foster parents would agree that they wish adoption was as easy as snapping their fingers! However, each case is different. Your Necco Case Manager will be there to help you navigate through the entire process.
If you are currently fostering a child through Necco, you can legally adopt a child without incurring any fees through our Foster to Adopt Program. Some Necco locations do offer Adoption Home Studies for parents who are not Necco foster parents. To find out if your local Necco office provides adoption home study services, contact us today!
Can you be a foster parent?
You can! There is no marital status requirement to become a foster parent in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, or Georgia.
In most cases, yes! Reach out to your local Necco office to see what arrangements can be made to fit your training needs.
The short answer is yes. If you live in Ohio, Kentucky, or West Virginia then both individuals will be approved as foster parents. If you reside In Georgia, only one individual can be approved as a foster parent.
Of course! Every child’s needs are different, and we match the needs of a foster child with the capabilities of foster parents. This includes things like experience, schedules, and family dynamics.
Necco prides itself on working around our families’ schedules. We understand that you have a life and are thrilled that you are willing to welcome a foster child into it. Trust that we will happily arrange a training schedule that works for you.
Your state has regulations in place regarding the total number of biological, adopted, foster, and kinship children who are permitted to live in the foster home at a given time. Reach out to the Licensing Specialist in your local Necco office to learn about your state’s regulations.
Yes, of course! Necco is an inclusive company with no room for hate!
Great question, and not a quick answer. Minimum and maximum age requirements can vary from state to state. Reach out to your local Necco office to inquire about the age regulations where you live.
Foster care housing
Of course! Foster parents can rent or own their home. In West Virginia, Ohio and Georgia, proof of homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will be required during the approval process and as required thereafter.
We love pets! More to the point, there aren’t any regulations that limit the number of pets permitted in the home. However, foster parents must inoculate each pet and provide record of such to maintain certification. In addition, pets must be well maintained and groomed to prevent unsanitary home conditions.
Yes! There are no regulations against fostering in a mobile home, condo, or apartment. In West Virginia, Ohio and Georgia, proof of homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will be required during the approval process and as required thereafter.
Unfortunately, no, you cannot foster without a car. At Necco, we require foster parents have reliable transportation because a child needs to be able to rely on their foster parent to get them where they need to be. Whether that be being picked up from school or even taken to sports practices or the doctor, a child needs to not only be able to get there, but trust that their parent can get them there safely.
Every child requires a bedroom for sleeping. However, every child does not need his/her own bedroom. Each state does have specific requirements regarding same-sex children sharing bedrooms, and the number of total children per room. Please contact your local Necco office for clarification on these regulations.
This is more of a bedroom question. There are no square footage requirements of living space per household member. However, every child requires a bedroom for sleeping.
Foster care safety
Not all crimes are disqualifiers. Your local Necco Licensing Specialist can review your charges/convictions to determine eligibility.
All potential foster parents are required to undergo a physical examination. A medical professional must complete a medical report to determine mental and physical approval for fostering. A letter from your mental health provider may be requested.
All potential foster parents are required to undergo a physical examination. A medical professional must complete a medical report to determine mental and physical approval for fostering. Additional documentation may be requested.
If you have had past involvement with Child Protective Services, you should contact your Necco Licensing Specialist to discuss your eligibility. They can review your Child Protective Services history and give you a definitive answer.
All potential foster parents are required to undergo a physical examination. A qualified medical professional must complete a medical report to determine mental and physical ability for fostering. If you pass your physical examination, your application will proceed to the next step in becoming a foster parent.
Foster care financial
Foster parents must provide documentation to verify their income is self-sustaining for current expenses. Proof of this may include: pay stubs, W2’s, Tax Returns, bank statement, or direct deposit.
Check with your local Necco office. Some states allow foster parents to receive government benefits while fostering.
Foster parents must provide documentation to verify that your income is self-sustaining for current expenses. Proof of this may include: pay stubs, W2’s, Tax Returns, bank statement, or direct deposit.
One of the most popular myths of foster care is that you have to be wealthy to be a foster parent. This is not accurate. Foster care regulations require that foster parents provide documentation to verify that their current income is self-sustaining for their current expenses. Proof of this may include: pay stubs, W2’s, Tax Returns, bank statement, or direct deposit records.
Necco is able to provide a seamless transition from your previous agency. Many times, it involves updating forms and ensuring that your paperwork is current.
Of course! Being a foster child yourself can help you provide insights into the lives of the foster children we serve.
There are no regulations that specify an education level for foster parents.
Reach out to your local Necco office to inquire about the regulations on becoming a foster parent while operating an in home daycare.
Once you have completed the approval process for becoming a foster parent, Necco can work with you and the placing agency to coordinate placement.