In this blog we'll answer all your questions and provide you with directions on how you can start the process today!
How to Become a Foster Parent in New York State
Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a foster parent in New York state? Did you know that in New York state there are over 25,000 children that are currently in the foster care system? That’s 25,000 children that are looking for a foster mom or foster parent to care for them during this time of uncertainty.
Why is that number so high with so many that need foster parents? There are actually a myriad of reasons, including situations that involve cases of abuse/neglect, abandonment, or other issues that endanger their health and safety. At times the families we work with are struggling with unresolved traumas and need support to work towards reunification. In that uncertain time period that’s where the loving care of the fostering process comes in.
Anyone who is at least 21 years old, can pass background checks and has a lot of love can be considered for this role. The children that are placed with you may come from all types of backgrounds and family dynamics so those that are open-minded, patient and open to new parenting styles tend to thrive as a foster parent. Whether you already have kids, have never had kids, or your “kids” have grown up there is a benefit to opening your home. Of course we will be there to help you along every step of the way as you and a foster child assimilate to each other.
The first step is to reach out to Berkshire for more information, and to learn about the process you will be participating in. Next you’ll be asked to fill out an application where questions about you, your life, background and current family will be asked. Next, a number of home visits will be scheduled so we can meet you, inspect the home for safety and fully explain the responsibilities of foster parenting, as well as gather important paperwork.
Our screening process is not only necessary for the safety of the children, and you, but also helps us determine if being a foster parent will work for your situation. It also helps us to match the perfect child to you. As we check your background it will include the following including State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment Check, criminal history record check among other items. After having a home study, and passing both the SCR and criminal history review, a home study will be conducted. From there we will help place a child that fits within your lifestyle and home. One thing to note is that some situations may be temporary while others may grow into a permanent one. Just like every child is different, every situation is too!
At Berkshire, we serve over 2,000 children and families every day and currently have 550 foster families that span the state. In 2019 alone, we had 47 children in foster care that found their forever families. By opening their hearts and home, foster parents give children a chance at a life they might not have and that rewarding feeling is like no other.
Hopefully after reading this you are now saying “I want to be a foster parent” which we gladly welcome! Our foster care team is currently working with approximately 553 children to help them reunify with their biological family as quickly as possible. Your impact on even one of these children will help them through a very complicated, painful and unsure time.
For more information and to start the process please visit: berkshirefarm.org/foster