We’ve all heard that foster care is an awful deal, but we’re all still trying to get a better understanding of how it works and what’s involved. This week, I’m sharing my view on what’s involved in foster care reunification.
Foster care is a legal contract that allows a child to live with their foster family for a specified period of time. Then the child is no longer legally considered a child, and if their family is not able to support them they can look for another family.
Fostering is a legal contract where the child is required to live with their new family for a specified period of time, and then its up to the family to support the child. The family is often referred to as the foster parent, or the “foster parents” for a foster family. The legal contract for foster care is created by the state, and the contract is often more complex than what we are used to.
Foster families are often required to be licensed by the state, and that can be a little confusing to the new families who are not familiar with it. The state will typically require the foster parent to be a licensed attorney, a psychologist, a psychiatrist or social worker. Those are the professionals who can advise the new family on the best way to help the child. Foster families who choose to stay with the original family are often referred to as “foster parents.
In the last year, I’ve worked on the foster care reform bill, but I personally have not done a good job convincing anyone in the state that licensing foster parents is a good idea. The bill has been debated and amended so many times, any new bill should include a new requirement that foster parents be properly licensed.
The problem is that license is such a broad term. To be a foster parent one must have a certain minimum of training and certifications. Additionally, foster parents must take an exam called the Filing Exam. The state requires that a foster parent must successfully pass the exam once a year, but it’s not clear how many times they have to pass it. This has been the source of much of the state’s confusion as to how to implement the new law.
The state seems to have no idea how many times to pass the exam and how many foster parents have to take it each year. There is a good chance that it will be a very small percentage of foster parents who pass. However, there are other ways to fail the exam. For example, a foster parent might be a member of a group that has no relationship with the state (for example, the foster parent might be a homeless person or a woman living with her boyfriend).
The state has to keep a close eye on foster parents because if a couple is in the same household so they don’t have to answer the same questions, they could have a child together. However, if a foster parent has a child, they might not have to do a lot of the same testing as a single parent and might not have to take the same exams. They might have a different set of test results. They might have one higher score than another and that could be a red flag.
There are several issues involved with foster care reunification. The most obvious is housing. The state does not want to have a child living with a foster parent who is not a licensed foster parent. If you are a state worker with a child in foster care, you may be required to be licensed as a foster parent yourself. You get a license to live in a foster home, and if you are a foster parent, you get a license to live in a foster home.
These licensing laws can make it difficult if not impossible to reunite a child with a parent or a friend who is a licensed foster parent. The laws are complicated, and more complicated than you might think. For example, the state requires the state worker to be licensed as a foster parent. If you are not a licensed foster parent, the state will require you to be licensed as a foster parent for a specific period of time, and then you can no longer be a licensed foster parent.