This year marks the beginning of a lot of new things happening my life. The biggest change of all is that I will soon be a foster mom. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time and am finally able to pursue. Seeing as this Tuesday will be my last training class, I thought I would share a little bit of what the experience has been so far.
This has by far been the most informational class I have ever taken. The training course lasts 10 weeks and class is once a week for 3 hours. By the end of the classes, everyone is expected to have completed 30 hours of training. Throughout the year, 12 more hours are required in order to renew your certification. Luckily I’m a teacher and receive child related training through my job. (Yes, this counts) The training classes were free to attend and occured after normal business hours. (Every Tuesday, 6pm – 9pm)
Soooooo much paperwork. The paperwork includes; background checks, fingerprinting, DMV release forms, physical, all the places you lived in for the past 28 years and tons of paperwork asking about your background and beliefs. The background check, fingerprinting, physical and residency check was pretty standard for me because I’m a teacher and have worked at a daycare. The hardest part for me honestly was having to remember everything from my childhood. Questions like, ‘How did your family handle a situation where someone was angry? is not something you thing of often.
For NYS, you have to have people who are there for you and they are called support resources. Each household (single or married) has to have two support resources. This basically is like a back-up plan that you have to have. They fill out a form with contact information and a DMV release form. No other paperwork is required from a support resource. You also have to have an exit plan in case of an emergency. This includes how you get out of the house as well as who the child can stay with in case of an emergency.
This was the definitely the most stressful for me and it really shouldn’t have been. I happened to travel a lot this summer and therefore barely bought any groceries. I was so worried that they would look in the fridge and think that I couldn’t feed the child. They did not check the fridge or really anything else. (I wish I had known that before completely packing my kitchen with food.) They basically just sat down with me and asked me a bunch of questions for my profile. This included; how many children I would take, what age and gender, what race and so on. They also went over all the paperwork I handed so far and clarified anything they didn’t understand. They went through and told me things I needed to fix before my final home study in order to be cleared; fire alarms, gates on the stairs, plug protectors and things like that.
These were the many things that I wanted to touch on today. I found out that a lot of people have considered being a foster parent, but weren’t sure what it was like. I have done a lot of research and am finding out so much more than I could find online. For that reason, I would really like to continue to share this experience.
Thank you for tuning in and I will talk to you all next week!