Community Care Resources (CCR) in Middleton, WI says that only 10% of the children referred to them can be placed in foster parent homes in Wisconsin. This shortage is causing a push for more education about becoming and being a foster parent to children in need.
There’s a misconception that the State of Wisconsin or individual counties in Wisconsin is the only way to become a foster parent. Yes, that is one way but private organizations like CCR, which are regulated by the state, are also able to help in the foster parenting process. Every county agency in Wisconsin refers foster children to private agencies across the state.
Children tend to be in foster care for an average of 2 years. During that time, foster parents are paid for being a foster parent to a child. Medical expenses and prescriptions are also covered, so those expenses do not come from the foster parents, it’s all covered. The pay rate changes, based on the level of care the child needs and the age of the child.
Levels of Foster Care
There are different types of foster care. CCR has children in levels 2-4.
- Level 2 is mild to moderate care
- Level 3 is moderate care with more supervision
- Level 4 is specialized treatment care
There is a tool called Adolescent Needs & Strengths (CANS) used to determine which level the child fits into.
With level 4, which is also treatment level foster care, those children need more supervision, additional support, and extra care. In these cases, those children have encountered a high level of trauma in their lives. This trauma has affected their development severely. CCR specializes in treatment foster care but also levels 2 and 3, as mentioned.
One way to start doing foster care is to go through the required training and then be a respite foster parent. When you do respite, you’re assisting foster parents and you’re giving them a break for a morning or afternoon, which is needed from time to time. You would just have a foster child for a few hours. There is also a need for respite parents.
Who Can Be a Foster Parent?
Most people can. This includes people who are single, married couples, and same-sex couples. You must also be over 25 years old and have space for that child in your home. That space would include a bed for them and places for their belongings. To path to becoming licensed can take 3-4 months, which includes a home visit and training.
If you meet these requirements, then you can contact an agency like CCR Foster Care Wisconsin to further find out if foster parenting is for you. There will be 6 hours of online training and 30 hours of classroom instruction that you will need to attend.
Of course, there is also an extensive background check you will need to go through. They will check references, there will be a health check, home visits, you need to provide proof of insurance, there will be a home inspection, and there’s also fingerprinting along with other checks you should be prepared for. All these checks are in place for the child to make sure they’re going to a good home and to protect the child.
Do You Want to Adopt a Child?
If you are thinking of adopting a child, first becoming a foster parent to a child is a great way to start. The goal of foster parenting is to return each child to their family but when parental rights are terminated (which happens in some cases), the child then becomes available for adoption. Often the foster parent becomes the child’s permanent parent if the parents want to adopt.
When you become a foster parent, there will be times when you will take the child to meet their parents and family. These visits are important to getting the family back together but even after foster care is over, most foster parents stay in touch with the child and have a role in that child’s development.
Not only do you get paid but you get to play a crucial part of a child’s life – a child who needs your assistance. The training you get will affect your life and you’ll also be providing support to your community. Foster parenting keeps children out of group homes, giving them more personalized care. It’s truly a win-win situation for all involved.
If becoming a foster parent is interesting to you, then reach out to Community Care Resources at 800-799-0450 to find out more today.