How Do I Become A Foster Parent in Homosassa, Florida?

Some people have enough love in their hearts that they have extra to give, while other people would be happy to receive more love. If you feel you are meant to share kindness and support with those who need it most, you should consider becoming a foster parent. While it might seem intimidating, the foster family process usually only takes from six to eight months to complete. It also is free if done through a community-based agency. Of course, becoming a foster parent is a major responsibility and will change a child’s life, so there are some steps you must take in order to be matched with a foster child. There are five steps that are required by the Florida Department of Children and Families before you can be deemed fit to be a foster parent. 

The first step toward foster parenting is to attend an orientation program on the subject. Not only does this help with finding suitable people, but it can help potential foster parents decide whether or not they are ready to commit to supporting a child in need by giving a clear idea of what fostering requires. After completing an orientation, the next step is to go through at least 20 to 30 hours of training, followed by a background check for child abuse or criminal history. Once these requirements have been met, the final steps are a home inspection and home study to ensure you can provide a safe, comfortable, and loving home to a foster child. After all of these steps are successfully met, you may be ready to meet with a child – or several children – who seem to be well-suited to you and your lifestyle. 

While the above steps are required, it might come as a surprise that several other factors do not automatically disqualify someone from becoming a foster parent. There is often an idea that foster parents must be young, wealthy, and traditionally married couples with one partner who is able to stay home to provide care. These are all misconceptions, and you can still be a foster parent even if you don’t meet that criteria. The most important characteristics for foster parents to have are the ones that make them caring, loving advocates for children. You must have the ability to create a stable environment, while being flexible and supportive. You should also be at least 21 years old and have enough living space for children. 

If you are ready to take the steps toward becoming a foster parent in the Homosassa area, there is a group called Citrus County Foster Parents that provides support and education. The group is made up of adoptive and foster parents, and they meet to discuss the needs of children in Citrus County who are in the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families. Another system that is available is Families First of Florida. They offer orientation and training to become a foster parent, and continue to provide resources that will help well after you have been matched with a child. Contacting these organizations will set you up with the education and preparation that will lead you toward helping the children who need it most.