There are a lot of questions when parents, couples, and single members in our communities start considering how to make an impact in children’s lives – especially when they start looking at foster care and adoption options. You’ll do your online digging, and you’ll have a picture in your mind on how it will go, but when it comes down to it, there are still questions to be answered. Luckily, the Black Hills offers an array of services to those considering being involved with foster care or adoption. From assessments and trainings to making connections for support, there’s a little place for everyone when it comes to helping children in need.
It’s a winding path to making a parenting plan for the future, and finding what’s best for your family and schedules. Start by talking to a professional.
“Attending an information session will help parents learn a little bit more about the programs available,” said Andi Hemeyer, Family Services Supervisor at the Department of Social Services. “If being a foster parent or an adoptive parent isn’t the right fit for you right now, there are other opportunities to get connected. Supporting our communities’ current foster and adoptive parents – providing wraparound support and encouragement to them – is a great way to support the children in our community.”
Once you decide your route, choose your path.
Foster/Adoptive Parent: Once deciding Foster Care/Adoption is the path right for you, you will need to find an agency that fits your family and apply – beginning the paperwork and background check process.
TIPS: Be sure to have access to mounds of information. This will include things like address of living for the past years, financial history, employment history, schedules and more.
READY FOR CLASS?
Foster Care & Adoption: After you begin your paperwork, you’ll start your 30 hours of required training. This training will go through the ins and outs of trauma, how it affects children, and how to handle situations in a healthy and productive way. NOTE: Training doesn’t end once your 30-hours is up! Many facilities will have supportive assistance for you every step of the way.
HOME SWEET HOME
Foster Care & Adoption: Whether you are walking down the path of foster care or adoption, you will need to participate in a home study.
“So many people think that we will come in with a white glove,” said Vanessa Mader, the Assistant Branch Director at Bethany Christian Services. “But that’s not it at all. A home study doesn’t mean your home needs to be perfect. We simply check your home and abide by state safety standards – answering questions like: do you have a carbon monoxide detector? How about a fire alarm?
There will also be a series of 3-5 interviews dependent on the facility you choose. These interviews will be individually based, marriage based, motivational reasoning, etc. Be aware that these home studies are very in depth and require a high level of transparency, and can be a lengthy process.