Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I be employed outside of my home?
Yes, provided there is a child care plan in place. It is not acceptable for both parents to have second shift employment when caring for school age children.
Is there a limit to the number of children in my home?
Yes, in the state of Massachusetts, Intensive Foster Care allows you to have up to two foster children. The Department of Children and Families allow a total of four children under the age of 18, including your own children, with additional requirements for your home.
Do foster parents receive any financial reimbursement for caring for children?
Yes, foster parents are not employees, you volunteer to take children into your home. You do receive a daily reimbursement for costs associated with taking care of that child. This daily reimbursement is based on the needs of the child. This money is provided to cover such expenses as food, clothing, shelter, transportation, recreation and allowance, and should not be considered income. LUK does not have a minimum income requirement. However, your income must be earned and should be sufficient to meet the financial needs of your own family.
Are foster parents responsible for medical and dental expenses for a foster child?
Foster parents are not responsible for medical or dental expenses. Each child has Medical Insurance, private insurance or a combination that covers most expenses.
How long does it take to become a LUK foster parent?
The application process involves five or six conveniently scheduled visits to your home over a 10- to 12-week period of time. Staff members assist you to gather paperwork, interview all family members, inspect the home for safety and fully explain the responsibilities of foster parenting. Our careful screening process helps you determine whether or not foster parenting is right for you, and, if yes, helps us match just the right child to your home. You will also attend a number of trainings to help you prepare to welcome a foster child into your home.
Additionally, you and ever member of your household over the age of 15, are required to pass a Criminal Records Background Check, Sexual Offender Registry check and Federal fingerprinting.
How long will a child stay in my home?
This varies depending on the needs of the child and the circumstances of his or her placement. Some children are returned home after only a few months; others after a year or so. Sometimes, children who can’t go home become eligible for adoption; others remain in foster care until age 18.
Is it possible to adopt a foster child?
Adoption for some foster children can be an option for foster parents.
Can a foster child share a bedroom with my child?
Yes, however they must have a bed of their own and children of the opposite sex can only share a room if they are under five years of age. A bedroom must also have room for storage for each child's belongings.
Are single individuals allowed to become foster parents?
Yes. We will work with you to determine that you have sufficient supports in place and that the child care issues are addressed.
Are foster parents responsible for transporting children?
We expect that our foster parents provide the majority of transportation for the foster children. We do have team members that can assist if foster parents have a conflict in their schedule.
What if I have a crisis with a foster child at night or on a weekend?
You never have to feel that you have to deal with a crisis alone. We offer support 24/7. After hours there is a staff person assigned to answer all emergency calls. During office hours there is always someone available to assist you with any crisis that might arise.
What kinds of children will you place in my home?
When it comes to foster children, one size does not fit all. There’s no typical foster child: some kids are stepping down from residential treatment; some have developmental delays; some have suffered unspeakable abuse; some have never been required to follow the rules of society; some have built walls around themselves to keep out the hurt; and some have lost their beloved homes and families. Most will undergo counseling and therapy while in foster care. It won’t be easy to help a child who has known such pain and upheaval, but we’ll train you extensively on how to handle the specific needs of your foster child.
Will I get to meet the child before he or she moves in with me?
Sometimes. If time allows, we try to arrange pre-placement visits so you can meet ahead of time. In many cases, however, a child’s need for a foster home is urgent, and you won’t be able to meet your foster child until he or she arrives at your door.
What forms of discipline am I allowed to enforce?
Your current parenting style will determine how much of an adjustment you will need to make to follow our guidelines. Our policies and guidelines are designed to protect both you and your foster children. We only allow appropriate, non-physical methods of discipline, such as removing privileges, giving “time outs” and using rewards, encouragement and praise for good behavior. Some of our discipline rules:
- NO physical punishment
- NO withholding meals, clothing, or shelter
- NO verbal abuse or name-calling
- NO threats to have a child removed
- NO physically strenuous work or exercise solely for punishment
- NO allowing other children to punish the foster child