Did you know that you can make a difference in the lives of many children, all without sending a dollar a month to a strange bearded man in Africa? Jokes aside, the State of Illinois needs more foster parents to provide temporary homes to kids displaced by abuse, neglect, or simply their parents' temporary inability to care for them.
These temporary parental figures provide stability and a nurturing home to kids that otherwise would be in a group home, homeless, or sometimes even worse: their parents' home.
How can you become a foster parent? Read on.
First of all, according to DCFS, the State really needs you to become a foster parent if you are willing to take on:
- African-American infants,
- Teenage mothers and their babies,
- Children with special needs,
- Brothers and sisters who need to be kept together,
- Babies with HIV or AIDS, or
- Babies born with cocaine in their system.
Of course, these aren't the only needy children, so don't let the list of the neediest discourage you.
To become a foster parent, the application process is relatively simple. The first step is to call (800) 624-KIDS. They will set up an appointment to discuss foster care and the application process.
There will be a home visit and an interview. This is to ensure that you are stable and not a whackjob. There's no need to be nervous about this part if you are a normal, functioning human being.
There's also application paperwork, fingerprinting, and background checks that must be completed for all members of the family. This is to ensure a safe household for the kids.
While you wait for the background checks and paperwork processing, there's also a class to help you prepare for becoming a foster parent. In total, you're looking at four to six months until you are approved.
- Consult a Chicago Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Foster Care(DCFS)
- Want to be a Dad? Illinois Adoption for Same Sex Parents (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)
- How to Become a Mom in Illinois (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)