Becoming a Foster Parent
Thousands of children throughout our area do not know the love, care and compassion that comes from living in a stable home. Greater Valley Community Services' Foster Care program is a protective service for children and families. The children are provided with substitute family life experience in an agency certified home for a planned, temporary period of time. The foster parents have the responsibility of helping children achieve the goal of reunification. Foster parenting is not always a lifelong commitment, but a commitment to a nurturing environment. Foster care often means "families helping families". A safe haven is needed for children while they and their families heal. Foster parents are needed throughout Allegheny County and surrounding areas for children of all ages and race. Foster parents are especially needed for sibling groups of children from the same home, medically fragile children, teenagers, and minority children. Foster parents receive financial reimbursement and health care for their foster children. Certified foster families are expected to provide a safe, nurturing, supportive environment. Foster families can make a difference in a child's life.
About the Foster Care Program
The Foster Care program provides training, certification, and retention services for family foster care providers. Foster homes provide temporary substitute care for children, ages 0 through 21, who have been removed from their families due to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; neglect; or if the parent is otherwise unavailable. Foster parents offer day to day care and guidance until the child can be reunited with his or her birth family, move to a kinship family or permanent adoptive home, or emancipate. Caseworkers work closely with foster parents to identify and meet the special needs of the children. Children are provided with health care coverage and the foster parents are given a monthly stipend to help reimburse the cost of their care.
- Are 21 years of age, or older.
- Are in good physical condition and emotional health.
- Have the skills, attitude, and stamina to effectively deal with the many behavior and feelings displayed by children and youth.
- Have a non-punitive attitude and can demonstrate some level of acceptance toward the birth parents of children in care.
- Can work cooperatively with the representatives of Greater Valley Community Services.
- Are accepting of the temporary nature of foster care and can help a child transition back to their family or move on to a permanent or adoptive placement.
- Children needing foster care placement come from a variety of social and economic backgrounds; from every race, religion, and nationality and every age from birth to young adulthood. Foster parents must be culturally humble.
To Become a Foster Parent, You Will Need To...
1. Make the initial call to the Foster Care Program Coordinator at (412)-351-7056
2.Review the packet of information sent to you by the coordinator
3. Attend upcoming orientation sessions (whose date/time/location will be scheduled and given to you by the Foster Care Program Coordinator)
4. Participate in the First Family Consultation process to get started on the required paperwork, including background checks, health evaluations, etc.
5. Participate in walk-through of your home assessment and any changes needed to insure the safety and well-being of children placed in your home based on DHS Rules and Regulations.
If you have any questions or concerns about the application, please contact [email protected]!