Loudoun Foster Care & Adoption
What is Foster Care?
Foster Care is a protective service provided to children in the custody of the Department of Family Services. It provides substitute, temporary care (e.g. foster family home, residential care facility, etc.) for a planned period of time when a child must be separated from his own parents or relatives because of abuse and/or neglect. Foster Care:
- Provides support services to birth families in working towards the goal of reunification or alternative permanency plans.
- Provides intervention services to children placed in the custody of the Department of Family Services and their families.
Who are the Children Needing Foster and Adoptive Homes?
Although the children who come into foster care range in age, most are age 11 and up. They come from diverse backgrounds. They may have experienced abuse, neglect, or lived in families in need of supportive services. What they all share is the need to have a safe and stable environment, someplace where they can regain trust in their world, a sense of self-worth, a connection to a family, and to a community that offers guidance and understanding. That is where foster parents come in.
What is the Foster Care and Adoption Program?
The Foster Care and Adoption Program offers temporary foster placements for these children and services to help their families. The primary goal of foster care is to provide a safe place for a child while the biological parents become stable.
Our program is based on a concurrent planning model. Concurrent planning involves foster families committing to the reunification of the child or children with the biological family or extended relatives. If reunification cannot occur, then adoption by foster parents may become an option.
What are the Roles of Foster Parents?
Foster parents provide a temporary, safe home for children in crisis. Children who need foster families have been removed from their birth family homes for reasons of neglect, abuse, abandonment, or other issues endangering their health and/or safety. Many of these children are filled with fear, anger, confusion, or a sense of powerlessness at having been removed from the only home they have ever known.
Becoming A Foster Parent
We provide a 30-hour dual certification program and home assessment. Throughout the class and the home study process all individuals/couples will be assessed for their fit with the needs of the Loudoun children in foster care. Those who successfully complete the class and the home study process will be dually certified to foster and adopt.
- A one-time information session to "learn what foster parenting is all about"
- Work with a foster family recruiter to discuss your interest in being a foster parent and the types of children who need foster families
- Complete a mutual assessment process which includes several meetings with you and other family members to:
- Make sure you have ample space, enough beds and space for the child to keep his belongings, meet basic fire and safety rules
- Make sure you are physically and emotionally capable of caring for a child and have no substance abuse problems
- Be able to pass a criminal history check
- Make enough money to provide for your own family so you do not have to rely on the foster care reimbursement you receive as an income
- Attend training to help you develop greater understanding of the trauma these children have suffered and new skills for relating to the children
For more information attend an session held on the second Tuesday of every other month. The schedule for 2014 is as follows (except national holidays and inclement weather days when the Loudoun County Public Schools are closed):
- February 11
- April 8
- June 10
- August 12
- October 14
- December 9
A Child in Your Community Needs You!
All children grow and thrive best when they are with a family. You could be that family. Open your heart and home by becoming a foster or adoptive parent. Contact us today! Please call 703-777-0386 or send us an email.