provide permanent homes and a lifelong commitment to children into adulthood;
provide for the short-term and long-term needs of children;
provide for children's emotional, mental, physical, social, educational, and cultural needs, according to each child's developmental age and growth;
may become certified as a foster family and accept children who are not legally free for adoption, but whose permanency plan is adoption.
Can foster families adopt?
Yes! Many families are interested in both fostering and adopting. They agree with the agency that the children's needs come first. In most cases, this means helping prepare children for reunification with their birth family, mentoring the birth parents, or working toward a relative or kinship placement.
When termination of parental rights is in the children's best interest and adoption is their plan, then foster parents who have cared for the children will be given the opportunity to adopt. Dual certification of parents to both foster and adopt speeds up the placement process, reduces the number of moves a child makes, and allows relationships to evolve with the initial placement process. Nearly half the adoptions of children in DFPS foster care are by their foster families.
Can adoptive families provide foster care?
Yes! Adoptive families who are willing to accept placement of children who are not yet legally free for adoption but have a plan for adoption can also become certified as foster families. This dual certification increases the opportunities for successful adoptions. In some areas of the state, a "buddy system" has been developed in which experienced foster families, who understand the challenges and rewards of foster parenting, are available to share experiences with new families and give support.