What is Foster Care?

Foster Care is 24-hour care provided by licensed foster parents for children who cannot safely live with their birth parents.

Foster Care is giving someone elseís child a secure and loving place to grow.  A foster parentís job is very important and it takes special people to do it. 

A foster child may have fears from past experiences and fears of what the future will bring.  Most foster children desperately need:

        to feel that he or she belongs to a loving, reliable family
        to feel that he or she is a worthwhile person and worthy of love 

Children learn to love and trust adults from having continuous positive experiences together.  Sometimes, the building of trust and confidence may take a long time. 

Foster families make a big difference in the lives of children.  In Trempealeau County thereís a demand to help children of all ages live in a safe and healthy environment while their parents get the help they need. 

Children are placed in foster care for various reasons.  Some examples are:  a child who has been abandoned, a child who is a victim of abuse or neglect, a child whose parent is incarcerated or hospitalized, or a child who has committed a delinquent act.  Generally, placement in foster care is temporary and intended to give birth families time to make changes necessary for the child to live safely back in his/her home.  Most children in foster care return home to their families.  Others find permanence through adoption and other means.

We want to help families stay together, but sometimes they canít.  When that happens, itís hard on the children.  They need sharing people to provide foster homes on a full-time, respite or emergency basis. 

What Do Foster Children Need? 

        time, attention, structure and healthy interaction with others
        exposure to loving relationships and connections to community
        food, clothing and transportation
        a clean, safe, nurturing home and a sharing family
 
What Are Some of the Requirements to Become a Foster Parent?
 
        must be 21 years of age
        criminal background check and health exam
        single or married in good health, with or without children of your own
        can work in or outside of the home
        own or rent a home or apartment
        fire inspection and water test (if living in country)
        must have another source of income
        county licensing and training
        vehicle liability and homeownerís/renterís insurance
        must provide a safe physical environment 

The foster parent (s) decides which child to bring into the family.  Foster parents will receive a history of the child including his/her medical background.  A Trempealeau County Social Worker will make home visits after placement and be available for follow-up as needed. 

Financial and supplemental assistance are available to the foster family.  If a foster child has emotional, behavioral, or medical problems, an additional monthly supplemental payment may be made to cover the costs of caring for the childís special needs.

Being a foster parent carries a very special reward - knowing that you are really helping someone that needs you very much.  Many children in Trempealeau County need your help - either full-time, respite or emergency foster care.  Think about it and join our Family to Family Foster Care Program.  Please call if you have any questions and speak with the Foster Home Coordinator at 715-538-2311, ext 290.