My husband and I have been talking about doing foster care and I was wondering what all they look at during the beginning process. Our credit isn't good and hubby is scared they will look at that and automatically say no. Plus, we have a two year old daughter with special needs who is in a wheelchair. Will they say no to us doing foster care because of this? Any advice and information is greatly appreciated!
M- Wife to E
Mom to K & K
Pregnant with A
In our case, they did not check credit, but they verified income and expenses.
Your SN child will not disqualify you.
Bad credit is not likely to disqualify you, provided that you are currently matching income to expenses and paying off debt. It does depend on the state, but many, many foster families have modest means and most people in America with modest means have had some kind of debt/credit issue at some point. Social workers know this - they are looking to see stability and a responsible lifestyle in the here-and-now.
Look up your regional office and give them a call. The worst they can possibly say is "no."
I'm excited for you! I hope that your dream becomes a reality!
I work in foster care, although I am not the recruiter/training/background checker. I live in NY for a private agency.
But I do know that we don't have any means of checking a family's credit. As long as you can pay your bills without the assistance of the foster care stipend, that's fine. In fact, a few of our families pay their bills based on disability payments, and one even has Section 8 housing. Like a PP said, most of our families are families of modest means. We have a few who are upper middle class, but that isn't too common.
As for your daughter, with our agency that would make you look even better, because we would know you have the skills to work with children of SN or otherwise. Our agency does therapeutic care, and so there's a matching process rather than simply placing a kid in a family with an empty bed, so more than likely, our only concern about your daughter, would be to ensure that the kid we placed with you, wouldn't present any kind of safety risk to your daughter.
Our income goes between 1700-2,000 a month. Is that too low? It covers all our costs.
I actually want to foster children with special needs, possibly through Omni Visions
M- Wife to E
Mom to K & K
Pregnant with A
I didn't have to turn in any expense information but I did have to give in a pay stub. That was 4 1/2 years ago and they've never asked for any financial information since then. In my county, there's a huge range of income levels among the foster families.
They did check our credit. They also needed income verification, bill verification, and budget details. They needed proof that we could meet all our obligations with 200 left per month. This is because the FC money is a reimbursement, and they need to see that you could cover an emergency cost in the check hadn't come through yet. It wasn't super in depth, though, and there are plenty of pretty low income people in our office, so I don;t know how strict they are about it.
We had to have adequate space in our home, undergo physicals, have our home inspected for various things (poisons locked up, baby gates, etc). We had to answer a slew of personal homestudy type questions and attend a training program.
In my state at least, they are dying for people to do medical foster care or foster kids with special needs of all types. I bet if you say that you'd have to do something pretty dreadful to get denied!
Mom to 5 wonderful kids (9, 6, 4, 2 and 0), 1 adopted through foster care.
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