Become A Foster Parent

FAMILY FOSTER CARE

We provide an array of services and ongoing support for families who open their home to kids in foster care. Our skilled staff work with interested foster families, adoptive parents, and relative/kin providers to train and support them as they work to become licensed. We offer the initial training, assessment, and ongoing support to these same families as children/youth are placed with them. We have crisis services available to our families 24/7. Families sponsored by our agency appreciate the individualized attention and high quality of experience and care they receive from our staff. We focus on assuring that families’ strengths and youths’ unique needs match so that stability and success can be achieved by all. Our goal is to give youth a safe and loving family life during their time in foster care where they are offered the typical life experiences that all children should have.

WHO ARE THE CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE?

Children in foster care are regular kids, who through no fault of their own, had to be taken out of the care of their families due to unsafe situations or where the family was unable to meet the basic needs of the child. While we work diligently on the prevention side to keep families together, sometimes circumstances arise where this is not possible. Children/youth enter foster care when the courts determine they need to be temporarily or permanently removed from their current living situation. Children in foster care are of all ages and ethnicities, ages infancy to 18 years old, with the average age of 9 years. The stay in foster care varies greatly, some for a few days and others a few years with the average length being 2 years. If possible, siblings are kept together but sometimes have to be split up when a home is not available.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A FOSTER FAMILY?

A foster family serves as a safe harbor for children while their birth family receives family strengthening services and other supports needed to safely care for their children. Foster parents play a role in supporting the process of reunification, as well as providing a safe, nurturing home environment for children.

WHO CAN BE A FOSTER PARENT

Adults over age 21

Married or Single

House or Apartment

Families with or without children

Must meet basic safety requirements

Wage earners (a monthly stipend for the family and medical coverage for the child in foster care is provided)

People of all backgrounds, races/ethnicities, and life experiences

People with patience and a willingness to open up their hearts and homes

Get Involved: 785.843.2085
HOW TO BECOME A FOSTER PARENT

Able to provide a safe, stable, nurturing, and loving home

Pass Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Child Abuse Registry checks

Complete 30 hours of state approved foster parent training

Pass all health and safety checks as required for licensure

Work with O’Connell Children’s Shelter to assess the types of children’s needs you are best equipped to meet

Learn More About Foster Care

For some people the idea of opening their home to a foster child seems like an understandably overwhelming commitment. Did you know there are many different types of foster homes that are in high demand including short term specialized homes? Because life is unpredictable: emergencies arise, parents need a rest, and unforeseen circumstances make these short term homes a welcome addition to our foster family program. We also look for families who take one child, sibling sets or multiple children, or children with special physical or mental health needs. There may be a non-traditional fostering situation is just right for you!