|Family Foster Care|
What It Takes To Become a Foster Parent
Becoming a foster parent through Youth and Shelter Services may be something you would really enjoy. It would be especially rewarding if you love children, have experience or education in human services or in working with troubled youth, and are willing to open your home to a new family member.
Know The Facts
Many people that are qualified to be foster parents don't think they are. Here are some common myths about becoming a foster parent and the facts:
Fact: "I'm single so I couldn't be a foster parent."
Single adults can be foster parents.
Fact: "But my wife and I are both retired."
Senior citizens can be foster parents.
Fact: "My husband and I both work. We just don't have the time."
Many foster parents are working couples.
Fact: "I live in an apartment and not a house."
Foster parents can live in an apartment or mobile home.
Our Foster Care Parents Meet These Qualifications
• 18 years of age or older
• Renting or buying an apartment or house
• Good physical and mental health
• Willing to cooperate with a home study and inspection, and an investigation of criminal background, child abuse and references
• Able to meet pre-service training requirements
• Stable family relationship
• Respect for and interest in caring for families
• Either single or married
Support Is Provided
YSS offers a full range of support services to aid foster parents in their very demanding jobs. The Department of Human Services furnishes monthly payments to cover the child's basic needs, including medical and dental services. Before and during their term, foster parents receive consultation, supervision, and assistance.
The Need Is Great
Children of all ages and races need foster homes because they face numerous problems in their family lives. The need is acute for sibling groups, teenagers, and special needs children. These youth have experienced a disruption in their own families, and many of them are confused and upset about their situations.
These young people may be abused, neglected, or abandoned. Some may have serious mental, emotional, or physical challenges, and my have been hospitalized.
Foster parents give these youth the support they need to survive physically, emotionally and socially.
The Foster Children We Care About...
• Range in age from newborns to 18-year-old adolescents
• Are living away from their original homes
• May have been abused physically, sexually, emotionally or a combination of all three
• Come from all socioeconomic levels of society
• Need love, security, and encouragement, just like all children
A Brighter Future For Everyone
Foster parenting offers rewards to everyone involved. The young person receives the physical and emotional security of a caring family and a chance to begin a better future. The foster parents find the satisfaction of making a difference in a child's lifetime and the opportunity to develop new parenting skills.
They also play a special role in a professional team in their community, make friends, and discover new strengths in themselves. Foster parenting is a temporary job that offers a lifetime of fulfillment - for you and for a child in need.
YSS's Aftercare Program addresses the needs of young adults who have aged-out of foster care.
Assistance is available for eligible young adults formerly in foster care who are at least 18 years of age, but not yet 21 who are residents of Iowa.
To qualify for YSS' Aftercare services, you must be a youth who, as of December 14, 1999 or since, has left foster care on or after your 18th birthday, OR who left foster care between the ages of 17.5 and 18 AND who had been in foster care continuously for 18 or more months.