Foster care provides children with a temporary home and family when their parents are unable to meet their needs and keep them safe.
Some children have difficult and traumatic experiences in their short lives, requiring the stability and attention of out of home placement.
While children are in foster care, support and assistance is given to parents to make their homes safe places so that children can return.
The intention of foster care is to successfully and safely reunite children with their families. Foster care is intended as a support for families, not a substitute for parents.
Children are placed in foster care for various reasons.
- A child who has been neglected.
- A child who has been abused.
- A child whose parent is in jail or is hospitalized and has no one to care for them during their parents' absence.
- A child who has committed a delinquent act.
- A child who has significant medical or mental health needs.
Foster parenting or becoming a foster family is not a decision you can - or should - make quickly or lightly. Take some time to assess your feelings. Consider the responsibilities of a foster parent, as well as the goals of foster care, and the impact on your own family/household.
Responsibilities of a foster parent include:
- Providing a nurturing environment, as well as limits for a child.
- Developing a trusted and reliable relationship with birth parents or the extended family of a child.
- Having children participate in daily activities and household happenings, promoting normalcy.
- Provide day-to-day care and supervision of a child.
- Arranging and taking the children to medical, dental, mental health appointments.
- Being a voice and a participant in court.
- Supporting the family interaction plan for children and their birth parents.
- Communicating with the school and keeping up on the child's progress.
- Acting as an important part of the child's team, including parents, social workers, and service providers.
The State Department of Children and Families
Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center
Coalition for Children Youth and Families
Foster Parents Rock
Wisconsin Foster and Adoptive Parent Association