The following is a list of frequently asked questions. For any additional inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.
What is Foster Care?
Foster parents provide a stable and supportive home environment for children who are in need of a safe, temporary place to live until permanency can be established.
Who are Foster Children?
Children and youth may need foster care for a variety of reasons. Foster children may have been abused, neglected, or are otherwise without proper parental supervision. Foster children range in age from infancy to age 21.
Are Foster Parents paid?
We support our foster parents in a variety of ways. Foster parents are paid a daily per diem per foster child or youth in the home to cover room and board costs of foster children. We ensure that other expenses are also covered such as medical and dental care. We also support our foster families in other ways such as initial training, ongoing educational opportunities, and twenty four hour on-call support.
What are the criteria for becoming a foster parent?
Most importantly, you must be committed to providing a safe and stable home for a child. You must enjoy caring for children, and be prepared for both the challenges and the rewards that fostering offers. Additionally you must be at least 21 years of age, be of good general health, financially self-sufficient, and have stable family relationships.
How do I apply to become a foster parent?
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please contact us and request an application package. Once a completed application is received, we will contact you to arrange an initial home visit to determine your eligibility. Eligible applicants complete an intensive Pre-Service Training Course. During a series of scheduled home visits, our staff members gather necessary paperwork, interview all family members, inspect the home for safety and fully explain the responsibilities of foster parenting. The time spent in the approval process gives you time to learn more about the process and think about your decision carefully.
What is the Statewide Adoption Network?
The Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) is a network of public and private organizations that share a common goal of providing permanent homes in a timely fashion for Pennsylvania’s foster children. The SWAN program serves children in the custody of county children and youth agencies. The design of the network is to support the work of county agencies in expediting permanency services. Children’s Aid Society is an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption Network.
What does it cost to adopt through SWAN?
While adopting a child in some settings can cost thousands of dollars, families who adopt through SWAN incur little expense. In addition, most children are eligible to receive ongoing adoption assistance until they reach age 18. Families who adopt through SWAN may also be eligible for an adoption tax credit.
Who are Adoptive Children?
Children in care and waiting to be adopted come from a variety of cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Some are in sibling groups needing to be adopted together, while others are on their own, but have siblings in other homes. Most of the children are currently living in foster homes. Children typically available through SWAN are over the age of 10, come in sibling groups, or have emotional, behavioral or medical challenges.
What is Foster-to-Adopt?
When children enter foster care, the main goal is to reunite them with their biological parents, but for some, this is not possible. In a foster-to-adopt placement, a child or teen is placed in a home before the child’s biological parents’ or guardians’ parental rights have been legally terminated. Many times, while a child is in a foster home, they become eligible for adoption. Many of our families that have been certified for foster care make the decision to adopt these children once parental rights have been terminated.