First Foster Parent Licensing Classes!
We had our first two classes for foster care licensing yesterday.
I’m bartering with a local friend–she’s watching my kids in exchange for me photographing her birth.
I was nervous about leaving Henry since he’s not used to have any kind of babysitter, but I think he did ok. The only issue was that he kept refusing to use the potty for her and instead peeing in his pants. He doesn’t often pee in his pants besides a tiny dribble on the way to the potty or something, so that’s unlike him. Hopefully he’ll get used to her and let her take him to the potty next week. He hasn’t worn a diaper since…I can’t even remember when. Last spring? It’s been a long, long time. He would be mortified if I tried to put one on him, so that’s not an option.
The licensing classes weren’t too bad. They’re from 9 to 12, and then from 1 to 4 every Saturday for six weeks. The seventh Saturday is a CPR class.
Then we have to complete the homestudy, fire safety check, and background checks.
So about the time Vladik gets here at the end of May we will be licensed foster parents! The CPR class is May 14th, and I’m not sure how long it will take to get the homestudy completed and all the loose ends tied up for everything to be official. The social worker sounded like it wouldn’t take that long.
The people in the class were an interesting mix. There were about six black people and/or interracial couples there, all of whom worked for the Columbus public schools in transportation. I thought that was interesting. When we had to tell why we were there they all stated they saw the struggles of the kids and glimpses of their home lives, so they wanted to make a difference in the community and help those kids. None of them knew each other or came together, it was coincidental.
There was one other white couple similar in age to us. The wife had been adopted from kinship care as a teenager.
There was a retired white man who said he was a nurse. He was looking to do respite care. His wife passed away a few years ago.
Then there was the couple sitting next to us–a white couple, probably in their 40’s. They were so obnoxious.
Anyway, all of that aside, the classes are a new curriculum that’s based on the latest research in trauma which is awesome! I’ve done tons of reading for hosting on this subject and I am completely thrilled that Ohio’s foster parent training lines up with connected parenting!
We have to decide what kind of home we want to be–
Treatment Foster Family
Foster to Adopt
Treatment Foster to Adopt
Those are the choices.
I don’t want to be a respite only home. That means you just keep children for the weekend, or as needed. Like a babysitter for foster families. That only requires 12 hours of training.
We definitely want to adopt, so that rules out regular foster or treatment family.
The treatment families require slightly more training and approval. They get kids that have extra medical needs or behavioral issues. Tyler is hesitant, but I really want to be this type of family! Treatment Foster to Adopt.
I would love to do drug addicted infants, HIV positive babies/toddlers/preschoolers, and kids 0-5 with other medical needs or delays.
But at the same time I also don’t want to rule out just regular kids who need families.
I want to talk to our licensing social worker more about it.
There are so many benefits to foster care that I think will make things much easier than hosting. For one, it’s free. Well not only is it free, but they give you money to care for the child! The average amount is $25 a day per child, but it varies based on the level of care the child requires.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital even has a primary care doctor’s office that is only for foster children. How amazing is that? The whole office is geared towards kids with trauma, with staff who get it.
There’s even home help available on a case by case basis. The social worker said depending on the level of care your foster child requires they will pay for up to 20 hours a week of in home help for cleaning, meals, etc.
I’m aware of how frustrating the system can be in general, but the agency we’re going through seems so well organized and helpful. I feel like this is really going to be a good thing for our family.
Ohio is having a heroin epidemic right now. The social worker said most kids coming into care are between 0-5 and there are quite a few drug addicted babies.
I know how exhausting it can be, but can you imagine loving the fragilest of tiny humans who have had such a rough start in life? Yes please!