How old do I have to be to foster parent?
The age of requirement for certification is 21.
Do I have to be married to foster?
No. Single people can foster.
Do I have to quit my job to foster?
No. DHS helps with child care costs and you can work while having foster children.
How many youth can I foster?
There is a limit of 7 foster youth in a two parent household, and a limit of 4 foster youth in a single parent household.
Do I have to have a separate room for each foster youth?
Foster youth can share rooms if they are under 6 or if they are of the same gender, unless they have behavioral concerns that would not allow for room sharing.
How would I find and pay for training?
There is a free weekend-long training that is required before becoming a certified foster parent and after that, there are free online foster parent training opportunities offered through DHS.
How will I pay for the expenses for my foster child?
DHS will give you a stipend for each child in your care to help support their needs. The state of Oregon provides each foster child with full medical coverage through OHP to pay for therapy, doctor’s appointments, and dental appointments. The state also provides a stipend for respite.
Do I have to take my foster youth to all of their appointments?
Medical transport is available, though you are encouraged to drive your foster youth to their appointments.
Do I have to commit to fostering for a certain amount of time?
It is your choice how long you foster for. With the consideration that disrupting placements can be difficult for foster youth, you must always take your own health and well-being into account and not all foster youth will be a safe or healthy match for your family.
How long do I foster my child for?
The child's case worker and judge decides where they go, and the goal of fostering is always reunification with biological parents if possible.
Do I have to take my foster child to visits with biological parents?
An SSA will be provided at your request, though positive relationships with biological family is highly encouraged and will help foster children flourish.
Can I adopt my foster child?
If a parent's rights have been fully terminated, only then do they become open for adoption.
Are foster youth naturally more rebellious?
No. Foster youth want to be loved and accepted as anyone else does. However due to trauma or neglect in their childhood, some foster children do have attachment issues and may have a harder time being able to trust others.
Can foster parenting be difficult?
Yes. Foster parenting can be difficult and you must be dedicated to going on the healing journey with your foster youth. Though sometimes challenging, it can be very worthwhile. By helping each foster youth know that they are loved and valued, you can help to end the cycles of neglect and trauma that exist in the world.
Do I have to foster parent alone?
No. This is the reason we started Elysium Sanctuary! Along with us, there are supports in place such as EMBRACE Oregon, KEEP Oregon, project lemonade, and other wonderful organizations that are dedicated to building and maintaining support for foster parents and youth.