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Foster Care Program
- Foster/Resource parents provide a safe, caring, and family home for a child ranging in age from birth to 18 who has been temporarily separated from his/her own family for various reasons. The child is in the custody of the Chesapeake Department of Human Services.
- Resource parents are Foster parents who meet the criteria to adopt if the foster child in their home was freed for adoption. Chesapeake's Foster/Resource parents are dually certified so that if they wanted to adopt a child they were fostering, the process is easier.
How do I become a Foster/Resource parent?
Chesapeake Human Services appreciates its foster/resource parents and welcomes the opportunity to include more dedicated families in its Foster/Resource parent pool.
- Talk with a family services specialist in the Foster Care Home Finding Unit. Call 757-382-2249 or 757-382-2246 to schedule an appointment to answer a few questions. (Option for phone or in person)
- Attend the PRIDE pre-service Foster/Resource parent training. You will receive a letter with the next training date. Over several weeks, you will complete 27 hours of training.Both parents are required to attend in two parent homes. During this commitment-free training, about fostering, you will be given the necessary paperwork to become a Foster/Resource parent.
- After the classes and paperwork, the Home Finding unit will conduct a home study to make sure you meet the requirements to be a foster/resource parent.
- How does a child become involved in the Foster Care System?
A child becomes involved with the foster care system through an abuse/neglect petition filed by the Chesapeake Child Protective Service Unit in which the child is found by the Chesapeake Juvenile Court to be at imminent risk of harm. Delinquent children are sometimes placed in foster care, as well as children whose legal guardians have been relieved of custody by the Juvenile Court.
- Can I bring my child to Chesapeake Social Services and place my child in foster care?
No, every effort must be made to prevent foster care placement. Foster Care placement takes place through the Juvenile Court. If you are having problems with your child, the Department will assess the needs of the family and refer the family for services.
- Basic requirements to be a foster parent
- 21 year of age or older
- Married or single (no co-habitation/living together)
- Physically and mentally healthy
- Income to meet your own needs
- Safe, loving and stable home
- Space for a child in your home (bed and clothing space)
- Working telephone
- Reliable transportation
- Responsibilities of the foster parent
- Provide a loving, safe, and healthy family for the child
- Accept that the child may have different ideas, beliefs, and ways
- Flexible and understanding
- Work with schools, doctors, therapists and others to meet the child's needs
- Help the child grow and mature
- Willingness to work as a team with the family services specialist, birth parent, and the child
- Help the child to maintain attachment to his family by assisting with visits
- Prepare the child to return home, or if they cannot go home to be adopted, or to live independently
- Participation in family partnership meetings
- Support for foster/resource parent
- Training classes prior to becoming a foster/resource parent
- Monthly foster parent support and education group with simultaneous group for foster youth ages 10 and older
- Ongoing training classes on issues that are of concern or interest
- Family services specialist support and guidance
- Monthly monetary payment for room and board, clothing, personal care, allowance, and other expenses
- Possible additional monthly money payment for supervision, support, and additional services to a child with an emotional, behavioral, or medical/personal need
- Yearly clothing allowance
- Holiday gifts provided by the community
- Medical coverage for the child
- WIC for foster youth ages 0-5
- How do I become a Chesapeake Connections specialized foster parent?
Specialized foster care providers are central to the professional treatment team, and key to the success of children in foster care. They work the closest with foster youth to implement strategies specified in a child's treatment plan. They facilitate the healing of a child in a family setting.
The first step to becoming a specialized foster parent is to attend Chesapeake Connections' unique ten (10) hour trauma-informed, specialized skills training, usually split between two Saturdays or three weeknights. Training is offered up to four times per year.
Who do I contact for more information?
Please contact Felicia N. LaGarde, Family Services Specialist, by phone 757-382-2249 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about all of our programs and ask further questions at 757-382-2000.