Foster Parent Process
In Louisiana, we have a rapidly growing number of children in foster care and not enough certified foster families. In January 2022, there were approximately 3,400 children served in the foster care system and about 1,500 investigations of child abuse cases (dcfs.la.gov). These children have experienced many adverse experiences such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, etc. Therefore, it is essential to take special care to show quality care and love. They are still growing, developing, and learning in this time of their life. Foster parents are someone these children can look up to as a role model, for advice, and for navigating a very different world. Not all children in the foster care system are in need of a permanent placement. They may require support and love until the family can safely be reunified. The simple truth is that there are not enough foster parents to accommodate the number of children we have in care, especially those that have disabilities or those who are older.
Are you up to the task of becoming a foster parent but are not quite sure how to get started?
To become a foster parent, you must be:
-at least 21 years old;
– you can be single, married, divorced, or widowed
– in good physical, emotional, and mental health
– have adequate space in your home
-be able to pass state and federal criminal clearances
-attend 21 hours of pre-service training;
-participate in the home study process.
The first step in completing the certification process is to attend an orientation meeting. The current schedule for orientation training can be found at www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/page/701. To register for one of the virtual orientation dates and times, please call your regional DCFS Home Development office. After completing the orientation training, you will need to complete seven pre-service training sessions. At the first pre-service training, you will be provided with the application for certification and a form to get completed by your physician for all members of your household. The form must show that all members of the household are free of communicable diseases. Following the completion of the trainings, application, and physician forms for all members, a home study must be completed, which includes three home visits and a safety inspection of the home. Finally, to complete the certification process, you must provide five references.
If you have any questions on becoming a foster parent, please feel free to reach out to your local DCFS office by clicking this link! http://www.dss.louisiana.gov/directory