On average a child in Oregon may spend 18-24 months in foster care. It is difficult to know how long a child will be in foster care–most often the length of time is related to their biological parent’s ability to engage in services designed to help them keep their children safe. As a foster (resource) parent, you may choose the type of placements you will accept. Placements may last for only a few weeks or months, but can also last multiple years.
Children placed in foster care may be infants, toddlers, preschoolers, grade-school age, or teenagers. They come from a diverse range of backgrounds, cultures and families. They are like other children, each with their own special personality, abilities, interests and potential. Children enter foster care because of abuse or neglect that was deemed to make their home unsafe. These children may have higher needs related to their experiences, including the grief and loss of being removed from their family or parent. For more information about your county and the reasons why children enter foster care, we highly recommend you check out the Oregon Child Welfare DataBook
Foster (Resource) parents help support families during a difficult time. They work as a team with the child’s caseworker to ensure the wellbeing of the child in their care. A Foster (Resource) parent’s impact reaches far as they provide a positive influence across the community. Foster (Resource) parents love, celebrate, mentor, coach, comfort, support and encourage the children in their home. There is a high demand for Foster (Resource) parents who can care for sibling groups, ensuring siblings can stay together. Families that enjoy working with teens and can guide them toward a positive future are also in high demand. There is a great need for Native American, African American and Latinx Foster (Resource) families. Additionally, there is a high “across the board” need for Foster (Resource) families, and you will work with your certifier to determine the best fit. In short, there is a need for YOU.
Your certifier will determine how many children would be appropriate to place with you based on your own circumstances and preferences. State guidelines allow for up to four children per single parent household, and seven children per two-parent household. So, if you’re a single parent with one child of your own, you would only be allowed to accept a maximum of three children in foster care. However, this is a decision that you and your certifier make together as you will be certified to take a certain number of children in your home. This number can be changed if ODHS asks to place more children with you.
Foster (Resource) parents are volunteers who receive a monthly stipend for each child’s care expenses. The rate foster (resource) parents are reimbursed varies depending on each child’s age and level of needs. Children’s medical and dental costs are also covered by a state-funded health plan called Oregon Health Plan.
Every Child Oregon is a community initiative designed to connect Oregonians to meet the needs of our state’s most vulnerable children. In partnership with Oregon’s Department of Human Services, Every Child Oregon aims to provide love, care and support for vulnerable children and families in Oregon. Every Child Oregon is a resource to help you connect with the right people at ODHS to begin the foster (resource) parent certification process. As you consider taking the next steps, we understand you have important questions; the ODHS certification team in your county is better qualified to give you accurate answers. It is important to recognize that the questions above serve as a guide but are not meant to encompass all information regarding foster (resource) parenting or the certification process. Our team will gladly connect you to the ODHS Certification Team in your county when you are ready to begin the certification process and/or if you have any specific questions that are outside of our expertise. We are so grateful for your willingness to explore this avenue. We’d love to support you along the way!
Respite care is similar to babysitting children in foster care. When Foster (Resource) parents go through their certification, they are encouraged to ask friends and family members to be their respite providers. The background check form is requested through a Foster (Resource) family’s ODHS certifier and can be given to any individual interested in providing respite care for them. It is a Foster (Resource) parent working out childcare needs with a background-checked individual. Respite care can last no longer than 14 days. Short-term/shelter care requires Foster (Resource) parent certification and completing 24 hours of Foundations training. ODHS calls and arranges for a child to come to your home and there is a reimbursement that comes with foster care.
Didn’t find the answer to your question? Please call one of our team at 1-800-331-0503 to discuss your question.