So my husband and I, are seeking information on Foster Parenting. We have already filled out the needed things for the application, and while waiting to get a few "proof of things" we had some questions we have not had answered. we have a pit bull puppy hes almost a year in a few days. i have been told you cannot foster with that breed of a dog, which im against for i dont believe in banning breeds, its owners that make a dog bad not the breed... besides that we have a bearded dragon who is wonderful even my 2 boys (age 3 and 2) hold him, hes a baby, such a cuddler we also have a baby boa, never bitten, but not something i would or will let the children handle to be safe. now what are your opinions on what reaction i would get for having these animals?
Also, my cousin his gf and twin girls are staying with us at the moment, and i was wondering if i should wait until the actually move out to turn in my application, or if it would be okay to at least get the ball rolling until they get their own place. for they are sleeping in our guest room, or room we would be using for children.
was wondering about sleeping arrangements as well, both my children sleep in our room atm, for i dont trust them going down stairs, and we only have a 2 bedroom, both kids are boys, so that would be i could still foster another boy, or infant correct?
also what kind of books did you use for research before you actually became a foster parent?
oh and lastly, i almost forgot, my husband just right after his 18th birthday had gotten busted getting weed for his mother, yes i said it his MOTHER! and they dropped his fine to a city ordnance violation, will that effect us getting approved? i really hope not, cuz hes drug free and a wonderful father, he makes my other mommy friends jealous for their husbands arnt as supportive and involved as he is. it would really hurt us if because of that we cannot care for children!
Full time student and stay at home mom for my 2 awesomely cool boys, Merrik Orian 4-12-08, Asher Drake 10-11-09. They are my world!
If you only have two bedrooms and you have two boys, I would say space is your number one concern. In my state (MA) having a pit bull doesn't count you out but you must agree to have the dog's temperment tested. Not sure what that means. We had a pit bull cross when we adopted my daughter, but the social worker listed him as a mutt.
In my area(state, maybe?) having a pit bull is an automatic no. That's what we were told in our orientation. I don't agree with it, but it may definitely be a problem for you. We have a corn snake and they just wanted to make sure we had secure locks on her cage. They would probably want the same for the beardy.
As far as your temp company, I would definitely start the process now. They didn't even start our home study and look at our house or sleeping arrangements until after our MAPP classes were finished. As long as the company will be out by the time the home visits start, it shouldn't be an issue. I'm not sure how you plan to have your bios' bedrooms arranged when your company leaves. That is a little unclear above. Is their room on another level? Will you be OK w/ kids sleeping there by the time you are licensed? Licensing might require that your boys have a room of their own. Whether or not they sleep there is really no one's business. Different states have different rules about children sleeping on the same level as the care givers. Most states have a limit of 12-24 mos that a foster child can sleep in a crib in your room. Our state is 12 mos. You need to think long-term. You may get a newborn, but they will be 12 mos before you know it and need to be out of your room. (We have had our current placement for 17mos and counting.) Also, there is usually a minimum amount square footage per child in a bedroom. Here it is 40sq ft per child. Your boys' room would have to be at least 120 sq ft to accommodate 3 kids in FL. Some states require more space per child.
As long as you're honest, I really don't think the drug bust will be a deal breaker. Don't ever try to hide something. Most things can be talked about and resolved. If they find out about it on their own, it could be harder for you.
I can't recall any foster parenting books we read, but for older children I really liked this book. http://www.amazon.com/Our-Own-Adopting-Parenting-Older/dp/0966970152/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1323750527&sr=8-2
HTH Good luck.
Mommy to DD(15), DD(13), DD(9), DS(4), DS(3), DD(1), and foster mommy to DD
Here (i'm in MI) a pitbull would not disqualify you, i dont think. All they require is "shots up to date" and the rabies shot for my cat was sufficient to meet this requirement. If they try to disqualify you based on the pitbull, see if having a temp. test done by a animal behaviorist would satisfy them that your dog is child-safe (as child-safe as ANY dog can be...you never know.)
Alot of these requirements vary from state to state. In my state, you need 40 sf of bedroom space for people living in the home. They also frown upon a foster child "displacing" a bio member of the home (that is, you can't have someone move out of their room and onto the couch in order to provide a room for a foster child)...they may want to see beds set up in their own room for your bio kids, depending on their ages. You can always ask this stuff ahead of time, unofficially to get a feel for what they will want. "My kids still sleep in my room, is that going to be a problem? do you have any special rules about pets in the home?" etc.
In most places there is a fairly set list of things you CANNOT be convicted of and still foster (sex crimes, crimes against children, etc) I dont think the fine would be a problem. Just be honest. They have foster parents from all walks of life and plenty of people have minor legal stuff that happened as teens or young adults.
I would get the ball rolling now, they can always put off your actual home visits until your guests leave. In most places getting to that point may even take months so better to start before you're fully ready.
In my state the rule about dogs is that they "don't scare the foster children" and there's nothing about specific breeds. I think that here it would just be an issue of the individual licensing worker whether or not they would allow your dog. It would be wise to train your dog and have him/her pass the Canine Good Citizen test.
A bearded dragon is probably not a problem becasue they're pretty small and can't do much damage. The snake is another issue entirely. I think that's going to be a problem. Can you rehome the snake to a family without any small children. Seems to me that boas and small kids do not mix. But that could just be my own bias.
About the living arrangements: in my state there are many things you have to do before you get licensed so it's best to get started as soon as you can and then just update things when the living situation changes. For example, you could get your foster parent training, CPR, physical exam, etc done before the cousin moves out. If you're serious about foster parenting then I say jump into it now and don't wait. I found this training to be valuable and I'm glad I did it even if I did not become a foster parent.
About your husband's drug conviction: I don't know personally, but I'm guessing that they'd simply require him to take a drug test and perhaps to agree to a random test later without warning.
Regarding your home size: that could be an issue depending on the number of children, ages and sexes of the children you want to foster. For example, if you cousin moves out and your boys move back to their room then you might be able to accomodate another boy or two in that room but probably not any girls or infants.
Sounds like you have a number of issues to overcome in order to become a foster parent. I think it's just up to you. If you really feel the desire to do it and you think you can provide a safe, stable, loving home for children in need then you should look into it. Your state child welfare department can answer all your questions about licensing much better than any of us can.