Can I Foster a Child I Know? The different types of Foster Licenses in AZ
The short answer? Yes. Providing foster parenting care to kids who must be removed from their homes is challenging and rewarding and maybe even more so if those children are friends or family. It may be a good idea to take a look at a few different types of foster licenses to make sure you’ve chosen the one that’s best for you.
Here are four of the most common types of foster care licenses available in the state of Arizona:
1. Family Foster Home License –
If are hoping to foster a child who you know but you are not related to, you will need a Family Foster Home License. With this license, you will choose the number of children you want to foster, their age range, and their gender. This is the most basic foster care license. Specifics, which are part of the license, include number, age range, and gender of children placed in the home.
2. Kinship (Relative) License –
If you would like to foster a child that is related to you, you will need a Kinship License. This is usually specific to the children in your home that have already been placed there by DCS. This particular license allows you to care for family members, for example, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or any minor family member, in your home. Being licensed allows the foster parent to receive financial compensation for taking the child(ren) in. A person who has a Kinship Care license is not expected to care for any other children in the foster care system. Depending on the specific health and safety conditions of the foster parents and the home, non-family children may also be placed in the home, if the foster parent(s) ask for an additional placement.
3. Child Developmental Home License –
The child developmental home license allows you to care for children with developmental disabilities. If the child you know has a developmental disability, you will need this license. However, attaining this license is a bit harder. Additionally, depending on the child, you may also need a Medically Complex foster care license in addition to the Child Developmental Home License. This second license applies when a child has chronic physical, developmental, or medical conditions. This is a higher level of licensure that allows a foster parent to work with children who need extra help.
4. Adult Developmental Home License –
Did you know you could foster adults? The adult developmental home license allows you to care for adults with developmental disabilities. This actually falls under the purview of Adult Services, but the same sorts of health and safety rules apply when caring for developmentally disabled adults as when working with developmentally disabled children, especially when mental or emotional issues are involved.
Regardless of the type of license that’s ultimately granted to you, there are a number of requirements all foster parents must meet. All foster care licensing involves parent safety (background checks, fingerprinting, stable income, etc.), as well as the safety of the home, and foster parent training. Each license has specific features and restrictions that apply specifically to those foster parents in that home.
It’s important to always keep in mind that fostering is, by nature and intent, temporary. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, it’s worth taking some time to think about what kind of kids you want to work with, because make no mistake, fostering is a big responsibility. It’s work. Those who qualify to provide extra care for children or adults with disabilities will face additional challenges. If you have any questions or concerns about fostering a child or adult with any kind of developmental challenge, please get in touch with the nearest RISE office (you can find the relevant info via our website: https://riseservicesinc.org). We are more than happy to help!