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Becoming a Foster Parent

Becoming a foster parent is an attainable goal! With an open heart and a warm home, you may be able to provide a stable environment for a child during his or her time of need. With your commitment and help from our staff, you can go through the application process and be on your way to being a registered foster parent.

Taking on the Role of a Parent

A caring foster parent needs to be willing to take on the difficulties and responsibilities of being a parent. Some characteristics that you should possess include enjoying being with children and having the ability to handle change and manage stress. It is also important to have a sense of humor and be flexible.


Mother and Daughter Playing

Creating a Structured Home

Providing children with structure and helping them with emotional and behavioral problems are the main focus of a foster care provider. Sometimes the foster parent is also asked to help redevelop the relationship between the child and their birth parent. LifeSpan Family Services of PA is fully committed to assisting in the return to the natural family whenever possible.

Requirements

To become a foster parent, you must meet requirements set by both the state and the agency. State-regulated requirements can be located in Title 55 Pa Code Chapter 3700. Our corporation is committed to abiding to all state regulations. LifeSpan Family Services of PA has the following requirements set for its foster parents:

• Foster Parents Must Be 21 Years of Age or Older
• Foster Parents Must Pass a Medical Examination Stating That They Are Physically Able to Care for Foster Children & Are Free from Communicable Diseases
• Foster Parents Must Be Able to Pass Screening Requirements Related to Child Abuse & Criminal History Clearances


Training Requirements

We require foster parents to complete twenty hours of related training. Attaining training hours is very simple, as we offer many in-agency or in-home trainings. Examples of appropriate training materials are fire safety, first aid, CPR, and a wide variety of videos pertaining to parenting.

We Also Consider

Our Punxsutawney and Du Bois, Pennsylvania, agencies also consider other matters, such as parent/child relationships; how the applicant can meet the special needs of children placed in the home; and the number and characteristics of children best suited for the foster family.

Father and Son Having Fun

Approval Process

The approval process is very dependent on the potential foster parents' motivation. It can take between 30 and 90 days to carry out and accomplish tasks. The typical approval process occurs as follows:

1. The prospective foster family expresses interest in fostering children with the aid of LifeSpan Family Services of PA. The family is sent a brief questionnaire containing questions about the family and their interest in fostering children.
2. A social worker from our family services contacts the prospective family to set up an appointment to meet with the family, fill out the application, and review agency policies.
3. The prospective foster family provides required documentation (listed below).
4. With the aid of the social worker, the family becomes enrolled in the Pennsylvania Adoption Exchange, an association that helps connect families seeking to adopt or foster children with those children in need of placement.
5. The prospective foster family is required to complete twenty hours of training related to safety, parenting, and issues surround foster parenting.
6. A home safety check is conducted by the social worker in the presence of the prospective foster parents.
7. After these steps have been completed, the foster family is ready to accept a child into their home.


Required Documentation

The documentation required by LifeSpan Family Services of PA consists primarily of information the family should already have. The social worker can assist the family in obtaining any information the family doesn't have. Examples of required documentation are:

• Criminal, FBI, & Child Abuse Clearances
• Copies of Current Vehicle Registration, Inspection, & Insurance
• Proof of Income

• Home Insurance
• Current Pet Vaccinations (If Applicable)

Click here to access required clearances' links.