How can I be sure this can work for us?
The process of fostering requires training, applications, licensure, and guidance. You will have the opportunity to take a deep look at your family and yourself to determine if this is the right path for you and your family. Getting information is just the beginning, and you never have to feel pressure to continue if at any point you decide it simply does work for you and your family. Case managers and experts in this process will guide you through every step. At the end of the process, foster parents will be ready to take on the responsibility and rewards of caring for a child who needs it.
How does in the process work?
The child welfare case management program in Lee county will take a look at you and your family as a “case,” and the case manager will oversee the entire process and help you get licensed.
Here is the basic description of the process:
- Speak to us: Fill out the form above and someone on our staff will contact you and answer all your questions.
- Training: We regularly conduct scheduled orientations. They are centered on something called: Parent Resources Information Development Education (PRIDE). This training helps LSF identify potential foster parents. It is a 30-hour Pre-Service Parenting Program that takes place once a week in 3-hour sessions. Full schedule listed below
- Licensing and Home Studies: We conduct home studies, background checks, home visits, and inspections to license interested families as eligible foster homes properly.
- Relicensing: Once you become a foster parent, you need to get relicensed. We offer the licensing process again at least 60 days prior to the expiration of a foster home’s license.
- Retention: We provide support activities and resources to current families to ensure they are satisfied and happy with their fostering experience.
What are the qualifications for becoming a foster parent?
You must complete the PRIDE training mentioned above. You and the members of your household must also comply with the following qualifications:
- All household members must pass an extensive criminal background screening
- The home must pass an environmental health inspection
- The home must be safe and have adequate space for additional children to reside.
- The family must be financially stable and capable of providing for additional children.
- The family must have reliable and safe transportation.
- For families with children living in the home, references provided must include a personal, professional, neighbor, family, and school
- A licensing counselor will complete a home study, an in-depth assessment of the family
- The process from the time of the inquiry until a family receives a license is different depending on the circumstances but averages 3-5 months.
Where are these services offered?
Lee, Manatee and Pinellas counties. Search the closest location to you using our LSF Locator.
Still have questions about how to become a foster parent?
Visit our FAQ page where you can learn more about becoming a foster parent.
You can also fill out the information above and an LSF representative will be in touch with you with more information, an informational packet and schedule of classes in your area.