Foster Care Services
Foster Care is defined by State Policy Volume VII,
Section III, Chapter B, page 1. "Foster care is a
state mandated service provided through federal, state,
and local funds." Foster care services means the
provision of a full range of casework, treatment and
community services for a planned period of time to a
child who is abused or neglected as defined in the Code
of Virginia section 63.1-248.2 or in need of services as
defined in the (Code of Virginia section 16.1-228) and
his family when a child (i) has been identified as
needing services to prevent or eliminate the need for
foster care placement, (ii) has been placed through an
agreement between the local Board of Social Services or
the public agency designated by the Community Policy and
Management Team and the parent(s) or guardians where
legal custody remains with the parent(s) or guardians,
(iii) has been committed or entrusted to a local Board of
Social Services or child welfare agency (iv) has been
under the supervisory responsibility of a local board
pursuant to (The Code of Virginia) 16.1-293.
Test Your Foster Care IQ. How much do your know about Foster Care? Try our short true or false test and then read on.
- Who are Foster Parents?
- Foster parents could be the retired couple next door, the single woman you work with, the clerk in the grocery store, and many others. Foster parents are professional parents who enjoy parenting and are willing to share their home, time, energy, and love with children who have special problems because of abuse or neglect.
- Who are the children in Foster Care?
- The children range in age from newborn to 18 years. Some have been victimized by abuse or neglect. Some may be physically or mentally challenged; some may have emotional or behavioral problems left over from their early abuse or neglect. There are many sibling groups (brothers and sisters who should stay together) and children of minority heritage. All the children in foster care need a loving, secure, stable family and home environment.
- Where do Foster Children come from?
- Sometimes, as a result of abuse, neglect, abandonment or a death in the family, courts decide that children must be temporarily separated from their families. These children come from all cultural and economic groups and may be from your community, your county, or a nearby county.
- How long is temporary?
- A child's stay in foster care may be as short as overnight or longer depending on the permanency plan for the child. The first goal considered is to reunite the family, if possible.
- What is the goal of Foster Care?
- The goal is to reunite the children with their own families. When this is not possible, parental rights may be terminated, and the children may be freed for adoption or prepared for adult living.
- Are Foster Care and Adoption the same thing?
- No. In foster care, the child welfare agency has legal custody of the child and assumes the ultimate responsibility for the child. With adoption, custody and responsibility for the child belong to the adoptive family.
- Can I be single or work and still be a Foster Parent?
- Yes. Single parents and working people may be certified, but each situation must be considered individually. These circumstances may affect the types and ages of children who can be placed with you.
- Is financial assistance available?
- A family will receive a maintenance payment on behalf of the child to help with expenses while a child is in their home. Children usually have medical and dental coverage while in foster care.
- Do Foster Parents have a choice about children who are placed with them?
- Your wishes and preferences, strengths and needs are considered before a child is placed in your home. You are free to ask questions about the child and about his or her background. You are not required to accept a child into your home - if you cannot accept a child, you simply let your Family Services Specialist know.
- What is the Foster Parent's responsibility to the child?
- The agency entrusts the child's day-to-day physical and emotional care to the foster parent. A reimbursement fee is paid to help with expenses incurred in transporting the child to the doctor, therapist, or family visits. You must abide by your local agency's training and discipline policies, which include the Commonwealth of Virginia's Policy on non-physical discipline.
- What is the "Heart Work, Hard Work" of Foster Parenting?
- Seeing yourself grow and change as you give…and give, and give to someone else. Committing to share and give a part of yourself to someone who may not be able to give back right away. Being the someone to give a child a chance to someday enjoy a happy, healthy home of their own. Stepping in to break the chain of abuse and neglect, and realizing your family and friends may disapprove. Realizing that despite the negatives (i.e. difficult behavior, property damage, disrespect, etc.) your desire to make a difference in a child's life would have you do it all over again.
- What can I do If I'm Interested?
- If interested please call the Fauquier Department of Social
Services at 540-422-8400 or email your name and address to Social