Becoming a foster parent is one of the selfless things a person can do. Foster parents provide a stable home for children who otherwise would have no other place to go. In this article, we discuss the requirements under Florida law of someone becoming a foster parent.
What is a Foster Parent?
A foster parent is an adult who voluntarily accepts a minor child into their family temporarily. The adult is the temporary legal guardian of the child for the duration of the stay with the family.
What are the Responsibilities?
The primary responsibility is to provide a stable environment for a foster child. The foster parent will have to work with a guardian ad litem to ensure that they meet the child’s best interests. Beyond providing a stable home environment, the foster home will also be responsible for ensuring that the child has access to clothes, food, health care, and educational opportunities.
Like a natural or biological parent, a foster parent does not receive payment for parenting. Foster parents are a volunteer position that many people take upon themselves. With that said, however, foster parents do get subsidies to help provide for the child. These subsidies are not a paycheck, and the state intends them to directly support the child’s needs.
What are the Requirements?
The minimum requirements in the State of Florida to become a foster parent is as follows:
- Must be at least 21 years of age.
- Must be able to speak English.
- Pass a background check and free from criminal or child abuse allegations.
- Must be able to show that income is sufficient to support a foster child without relying on the stipend.
Is There Any Training?
Under Florida law, as part of becoming certified to become foster parents, people must attend an orientation and receive about 30 hours of training. The training will help foster parents deal with behavioral, mental, and/or emotional issues the child might be experiencing. Additionally, the training will also include a CPR certification course along with basic first aid.
Can a Person be Denied?
Under Florida law, the court can deny a person the opportunity to become a foster parent if they do not meet the minimum requirements mentioned in this article. In addition to the minimum requirements, if the foster agency feels that a person cannot provide a safe, stable environment, does not have sufficient income, or personal references set up a red flag, they can deny people from becoming foster parents.
Can Fostering Lead To Adoption?
Under Florida law, it is permissible for foster parents to adopt their foster child. However, the child must be eligible for adoption first. The foster parent needs to apply and receive approval for the adoption.