You know, they say "it takes a village" to raise a child. As any of you with kids or that have raised kids know…that statement couldn't be more true. Well. I'm here to tell you that our "village", our community, needs to rally around a VERY, VERY serious problem.
Last year, over 300 children were removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect in our area. Of those, over 100 had to be placed in homes OUTSIDE of our community…because there weren't enough foster homes for them here.
This year we have a goal: 100 More Foster Parents.
It's not just a goal, it's a mission. The fact that children are being separated from their parents is bad enough. We need to stop having them also taken away from everything they know: their friends, their neighbors, their community. OUR community!
The need has never been greater. The time to become a foster parent is now. Won't you please become one?
It's not what you do for a living. It's what you do for a life.
The first step only takes 5 minutes, just fill out our New Inquiry Form.
Sponsored by Life Management Center of Northwest Florida, Inc., Big Bend Community Based Care and the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families
Life Management Center Foster Care FAQ
Q: What is a Foster Parent?
A: A Foster Parent is a professional parent who provides substitute temporary care for dependent children. The partnership goal of the Foster Parent, Life Management Center and Big Bend Community Based Care is to reunite the children and their parents and rebuild the family whenever possible. Foster Parents are a very important bridge between a children’s past and their future.
Q: How long will a foster child stay in my home?
A: Children may remain in your home for a few months or as long as a year or more.
Q: How old do I have to be to be a Foster Parent?
A: You must be at least 21 years old to be a Foster Parent.
Q: Do I have to be married to be a Foster Parent?
A: You do not have to be married to be a Foster Parent. If you are married, your spouse will need to attend the MAPP (Modeling Approach to Partnership in Parenting) class. We do recommend that Foster Parents be married at least one year prior to entering the program.
Q: Can I work and be a Foster Parent?
A: Most Foster Parents work outside the home. There may be funds to provide daycare services however it is the responsibility of the Foster Parent to provide supervision at all times.
Q: Will I receive training on how to be a Foster Parent?
A: There is a mandatory training called Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP). This is a 24-hour course with 3 hours one night a week for 8 weeks. (Online course will be available February 2014, with some classroom time.) Additionally, Foster Parents are required to have an additional 8 hours of training per licensure year. This is easily acquired through monthly training provided by Foster Parent Support Services. Other training is needed for those Foster Parents interested in Medical or Therapeutic Foster Care.
Q: Do foster children visit their families?
A: Yes. A care manager from Big Bend Community Based Care arranges these visits. The care manager and the court system determine the frequency and duration of these visits.
Q: What about vacations, doctor visits, etc.?
A: Foster children are part of your family. This means they go on vacation with you, are taken to the doctor as necessary, participate with the foster child’s education etc…
Q: Is there financial help?
A: Foster Parents are reimbursed by what is called a monthly board rate. These rates vary according to age of the child and legal status. There is also extra compensation through Medicaid for Medical or Therapeutic Foster Care. The Medicaid program covers medical expenses for ALL foster children. Foster Parents cannot be dependent upon these payments to care for a foster child.
Q: Do I have to take every child I am asked to?
A: No. You have the final word on whether or not to accept a foster child in your home; you know your strengths, your family, and your community. During the course of licensure, efforts are made to determine the type child a Foster Parent is best suited for. Foster children need to be placed in homes where they are wanted. These children need Foster Parents who are able to parent children with a variety of needs, and the willingness and strength to help children heal over the long term.
Q: May I ask for the removal of a child from my home?
A: Yes, but every effort will be made to work with you to remedy the situation. If the situation is not life threatening, a two weeks notice is required to find another home. It is important to note that each time a child is moved, more damage is done! Because of this, it is critical that the children remain in their placement. You will have access to any assistance needed to maintain the child successfully in your home.
Foster Parent MAPP Class Schedule
BAY/ GULF COUNTIES
Big Bend Community Based Care
910 Harrison Avenue Suite B
Panama City, Florida 32401
Monday &/or Tuesday Evenings – 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Life Management Center
310 Byrd Avenue
Bonifay, Florida 32425
Thursday Evenings – 6:00pm – 9:00 pm.
Life Management Center, Inc.
4094 Lafayette Street
Marianna, Florida 32448
Monday Evenings – 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Completion of the MAPP Class is required for anyone interested in receiving licensure as a foster parent. More information and course dates are available at www.thesolutionisaparent.com.