Foster care is a temporary living situation for children whose parents cannot take care of them and whose need for care has come to the attention of child welfare agency staff. While in foster care, children may live with relatives, with foster families, or in group facilities.
How long children stay in foster care depends on their family situation and what options are available in their communities. For some children, their stay in foster care is brief. For others, foster care lasts one to three years or, in some cases, longer. A key goal of foster care programs is to ensure that children live in stable, lifelong families since secure attachment to at least one parenting adult is a crucial child developmental building block.
Foster care is not a punishment for behavior, and children in foster care are not bad. Children in foster care may have a variety of behaviors as a result of being abused and/or neglected, such as differed appearance due to physical abuse, parent-like behavior, food hoarding, and shyness.
Children and youth may need foster care placements for a variety of reasons, which can be discussed further on a case to case basis.
Foster parents are caring, and committed individuals who open their hearts and home to meet the needs of children who must be placed in out-of-home care in order to be safe.
A foster family provides the child with an emergency or temporary home and a supportive, stable family environment while the birth family addresses the concerns or situations that prevent them from parenting their child.
Typically, foster parents care for the child until reunification with the birth family occurs, there is an adoption or guardianship with kin, or the child is legally available for adoption.
Sometimes, foster parents become the permanent home for the child through adoption.
The goal of the Chaffee County Department of Human Services is to reunite children with their biological families. If a child cannot be returned to their primary caregiver, every effort will be made to place that child with appropriate relatives or other caring adults in their life. If after all relative options have been exhausted, then children are placed with a foster or foster-adopt family.
Today, Chaffee County Department of Human Services has few certified foster homes (non-relative) to care for children and youth of our community. Often times our foster homes are full, which requires that children who come into care must be placed outside of our community/county away from their schools, friends, neighbors and extended families. It is traumatic enough to tell a child we have to place them with people they don’t know, but if the only foster family available is in another community/county, it only adds to the child’s anxiety and fear.
- Traditional foster care homes for youth ages zero to eighteen years of age
- Homes for sibling groups of all ages
- Homes for teens (boys and girls)
- Homes for teen moms and pregnant teens
- Respite homes
- What are your beliefs and attitudes about the Chaffee County Department of Human Services?
- What are your beliefs and attitudes about Child Welfare or Child Protective Services?
- What are your beliefs and attitudes about foster care?)
- What are your beliefs and attitudes about adopting from the child welfare system?
- What are your reasons for becoming a foster or foster/adopt parent?
- Are you ready emotionally and is your home ready?
- What impact might fostering have on your own family? What if you end up adopting a child?
- What age and behaviors of children vs. your own children would be the best match?
- Have you talked to your own children and/or family about fostering?
- Is it realistic for you to become a foster parent? Is it realistic for you to become an adoptive parent?