Becoming a Foster Parent

Quality CareHealth Connect America is focused on recruiting and retaining a collaborative pool of therapeutic foster parents who understand and can meet the significant needs of children and young people who have fallen into custody.

This includes all forms of foster care, from weekend respite to longer term commitments. With a greater emphasis on obtaining permanency for all children, Health Connect America has an increased focus on having the skilled, committed foster parents who can create an environment in their family and home that leads to successful outcomes for children and their families.

Our Foster Parents know at the end of the day that they have made a difference in the lives of children and families. They know that sometimes it takes a village to help struggling families.

We encourage our foster parents to initiate and maintain a relationship with the family of origin for the foster children in their home. We think this is the most therapeutic approach for the children with whom we work.

As this approach allows the foster parent to mentor the family to whom the child will be returning on how best to manage the child’s behaviors and structure the child’s day.

Additionally, the foster parent and child can continue to have a relationship long after the child leaves foster care so the child does not have to experience the grief of losing yet another relationship.

Some children may have needs that require more specialized foster families. Whether that means emotional, medical, or mental health needs, these children require homes with specialized training that is provided to you for free through Health Connect America.

Children come into care for a variety of reasons; some may come into care due to allegations of abuse, neglect, and/or dependency issues with their parents. Some parents may lack the parenting skills necessary to nurture and discipline children properly. Other children may come into care through the local juvenile courts.

Quality CareTherapeutic Foster Care is a more intense level of care that is guided by the treatment needs of the child. This type of care offers additional support to assist with trauma, abuse, and neglect. Children in therapeutic foster care are generally receiving outpatient therapy and medication management as part of their service/treatment plan.

The ages of children served by Health Connect America range from birth to 18 with the greatest anticipated need being for ages 10 to 17.

Children in the foster care system are eligible for Medicaid cards which cover medical, dental and counseling services.

The amount of children you can have in your home is based on the individual needs of each child and the outcome of the home study which is factors in room availability of the home.

There are some cases where a child will not be able to be placed with others due to their care needs, but in most cases, there will be no more than 2 children per home; however, exceptions may apply for sibling groups.

Quality CareAs part of HCA’s process of reviewing the backgrounds of applicants, information on employment history, employment references, and personal references will be required. Other background checks are listed below.

Child Abuse/Maltreatment: All applicants must complete the forms necessary to determine whether the applicant and anyone 18 years of age or older who lives in the house is the subject of an indicated child abuse or maltreatment report on file with the State Children’s Agency and any other state in which the applicants or family members age 18 or over have lived in the five years before applying for approval.

Criminal History: Criminal background checks (fingerprinting) on applicants and family members age 18 or older will be conducted through the State Police and the FBI. HCA requires the applicant and anyone age 18 or over who is currently living in the home to have any criminal history evaluated before the foster parent is finally approved.

Medical Report: Applicants must submit the HCA Foster Parent Physical Examination Form and the TB Screening Form to HCA staff before the end of their foster parent training classes/orientation.

Quality CareOur TFC parents receive at least twice the initial training of traditional foster parents, as well as, required continuing education training throughout the year. TFC parents receive pre-service and in-service training and support to demonstrate competency in various areas.

In addition to these trainings, the following are required and provided:

  • Basic First Aid
  • Medication Administration (how/when to give medications)
  • CPR
  • Recognizing and responding to child/youth behaviors that jeopardize health and well-being
  • Medical or rehabilitation interventions and operation of medical equipment required for a child/youth’s care as needed

We encourage you to come and be a part of a company that truly believes every child and every family deserve the opportunity to experience what life is supposed to be like for them, in a nonjudgmental way.

Quality Care Foster Parents are just like you! People who were at one time curious about what foster care is and how to become a foster parent. They are single, married, widowed, one income or two income families. They either have children of their own, no children, grown children, or may have adopted in the past.

A home study must evaluate the prospective foster parent’s ability to address the child/youth’s health and safety. The prospective foster home must be evaluated and determined to meet basic physical, health, and safety requirements.

In addition to meeting specific standards for the resources they provide, prospective foster parents must demonstrate motivation and willingness to cooperate with the agency or district in providing needed services and carrying out the foster child/youth’s permanency plan.

A home study and evaluation of the members of the foster family household or the relative’s family household must determine compliance with all of the following criteria for approval.

  • Married or single, but must be 25 years or older
  • Own or rent your home
  • Able to meet financial obligations consistently
  • Criminal history check and child abuse registry check
  • Written report from a physician and health exam to show physical and mental health
  • 3 non-relative references to speak for your character and ability to foster children.
  • Complete all pre-service training provided for free through Health Connect America

Quality CareIf you are interested in being a Therapeutic Foster Parent, please contact us at one of the below numbers depending on your location:

If you prefer to email us instead, you can do so by clicking on this link to get more information about our free foster parent training classes and how you can help change the life of a child in your community.

For Foster Care locations, check our locations page