Process for becoming a Foster Parent

Process for becoming a Foster Parent

I met today with DCFS Executive Director Brent Platt and others with the Department of Family Services and the Department of Foster Care and the Foster Care non-profit to discuss the process of becoming a foster parent.

Despite having four kids, they still want to help out as foster parents

 

My daughter Liz attempted to become a foster parent. After learning of the difficulty of doing so, decided against it. Her complaint was that the State says there is a in sufficient number of foster parents and yet they make the process so difficult that only one in four that apply make it to certification.

Here are the attachments in the email:

  • Our Family Behaviors.pdf – you tell them all about your current family and what kind of a child you will take
  • The Licensing Checklist.pdf – lists the multi-step process of becoming licensed
  • Foster Application Cover Sheet.pdf – the 24 page application that must be filled out by the prospective foster parent
  • A list a Pre-service Training Classes – 8 session of 4 hours each – 20 hours in total – which all foster parents are required to attend in-person (no online option available).

Here is the email that Liz received from Utah Foster Care

(Please note the “do no print this email warning at the end since you will kill a tree doing so” message at the end)

I look forward to helping you through the licensing process. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Attached are 5 attachments (2 are training schedules) to help you as you get on the path to becoming a licensed Foster Parent, A detailed breakdown of the remaining attachments and what to do with them are as follows:

  • The Licensing Checklist-this will tell you everything you will need to do to get from where you are to the point at which the Office of Licensing will schedule your home study.  (*you will not be able to schedule this home study until EVERYTHING on this checklist is submitted or returned to the Office of Licensing)
  • Foster Care Initial Family App is a fillable form, complete as much as you can on the computer.  Once you have completed everything you can on the computer, print page 8 and sign the document, re-scan page 8 and email the entire application and all of the supporting documents to both licenseapps@utah.gov and john.thill@utahfostercare.org. TURN THIS COMLETED APPLICATION, AS WELL AS THE ADDITTIONALLY REQUIRED DOCUMENTS AS SOON AS YOU CAN. You can attend training without having this submitted but turning the application in as soon as possible triggers your file being opened, a licensor being assigned, and your reference letters being sent out.
  • Other forms that are a part of your application packet include the following:
    • Medical Report on Resource Family Applicant-This is part of your application packet and is only needed for the parents and not for any children living in the home. Have your Doctor complete the form and then he or she will sign & date the form.  Have the Medical Office fax OR email this form directly to the Office of licensing.
    • Home Study Checklist– This is the last page of your application packet and is to be used as a reference in preparation for your upcoming home study.  If you have questions that cannot be answered, contact the Office of Licensing directly and they can creatively help you problem solve home study related concerns.
  • Background Check Application and information Our family & Behaviors Checklist please complete the self-explanatory fillable form and bring this with you when you attend your Criminal Background Check appointment, information on Background Checks is found below.

Additional Requirements:

 

Each parent will need to be CPR/First Aid Certified (see below for options).  Additionally, you will need to provide proof of immunization every member of the family, parents and children, if you want to be able to take ANY children in care. (See below for exceptions)

CPR/FIRST AID TRAINING-According to the Office of Licensing, ONLINE COURSES ARE ACCEPTABLE.  Feel free to find a course that suits you by searching “CPR/First Aid Training or Certification” FYI, you can take a totally free course at the following website: http://www.firstaidforfree.com/. If you use this site, please take the “basic first aid” AND “CPR” courses.  They are separate courses and you will need each one to get licensed.

Proof of Immunizations Requirements– Each person living in the home will need to verify current immunizations.  If you cannot find the verification forms for all members or you choose to not be vaccinated, don’t worry, you have a couple of options.

The Office of Licensing requires the following vaccinations for adults: Tdap, MMR, Hep A, Hep B, and varicella (if you have had Chicken pox you will NOT need this one, just note this in the email you are sending with you application packet information).

The options are as follows:

  1. A vaccine titer (pronounced tie-ter) is the measure, or level, of antibodies in the blood stream. Your doctor can order this test and for those below a satisfactory level you can get redone.
  2. You could also choose to simply get all of them redone and then submit the current shot record or verification letter reflecting the re-administration of the required vaccinations.
  3. The final option is to not get or prove the vaccinations- however it will limit you from taking unimmunized children and babies under 2 months old until we get documentation.

Not providing Vaccination Information will NOT hold up your license.

SONAR (Sex and Kidnap Offender Notification and Registration)

Prior to coming to your home, the Office of Licensing will be running a sex offender registry check for your neighborhood.  If they find that there are any sex offenders nearby, they’ll ask you to come up with a plan to keep your kids safe.  You might want to take a look at it so there aren’t any surprises when you meet with them. You can review the website by going to http://www.sheriffalerts.com/cap_office_disclaimer.php?office=54438   If potential threats do exist (say, along the route a child may walk to school for example) simply coming up with a plan to mitigate those potential threats (like taking a different route to school, not walking to school, walking with an adult, etc…) would help the Office of Licensing feel satisfied with a “safety plan”.

 

**IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOLLOWS!!!!**

There are a 2 links on page 8 of the attachment titled Foster Care Initial Family App Full Pkt 2016 pdf.  To make the licensing process run more smoothly for you, I am including those 2 links below. Please read through the information found at the following two links, you will need to add initials to page 8 when you have completed this reading.

  1. Provider Code of Conduct:

http://hspolicy.utah.gov/files/dhs/5-%20Security/5-3-%20Provider%20Code%20of%20Conduct.pdf

  1. Foster Care Rules:

https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r501/r501-12.htm

BACKGROUND CHECKS INVESTIGATION (BCI)

Please contact Cindy Draper (for Utah County Applicants) as soon as possible to schedule your background check, her number is 801-374-7788. If you live outside of Utah County, please refer to the background check information in the attached application packet for where to go to get your BCI completed.

 

Should you need additional forms you can make copies of the application or print them from the following web site:

http://hslic.utah.gov/docs/ScreeningAppFosterFeb2016.pdf

 

(press and hold the control button [ctrl] and click this link, OR copy the link and paste it into the internet browser address bar)

 

When you come to your scheduled background check appointment please bring with you the following documents for each person required to have a bci:

 

  • The actual social security card for each applicant
  • A driver’s license for each person submitting a background check application
  • $10 per applicant (cash only please)
  • The Our Family and Behavior Checklist, attached

 

o     A portion of this form will seem very familiar as you list the children’s behaviors you are willing to consider working with.  Please complete this form, bring it with you and give it to Cindy when you arrive for your appointment.

 

The worker will give you back your BCI application after completing your Live Scan Screening.  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO GET THAT FORM FROM THE WORKER, EMAIL THE BCI APPLICATION ALONG WITH YOUR FOSTER CARE APPLICATION (AS WELL AS ALL SUPLIMENTAL INFORMATION) TO licenseapps@utah.gov & john.thill@utahfostercare.org Please do all you can to submit all of these items together (see Gray section of the attached licensing checklist.)

 

Please note that if you have lived outside of the state of Utah in the past 5 years (for over 6 consecutive weeks) the state in which you were in will need to complete a portion of the background check.  This will require no additional action on your part but can slow the clearance process.

Should you have difficulties getting a copy of this application from the website, or have further questions about the background check process, please feel free to contact the Office of Licensing at 801-374-7672.

ONLINE TRAINING

Since the online training is so important here is some information about them and how to get started!

These webinars — like all of pre-service training — are just part of the process of becoming a licensed foster family. To receive credit for watching the webinar, you must first be enrolled in the pre-service training class, WHICH YOU ARE AS OF NOW!! Once you complete each of the three courses, listed under the heading CLASSES, you will be asked to validate that you read the information. Once you’ve watched the webinars, in their entirety, you’ll need to take the quiz to receive credit. (both parents need to take the online training individually at times convenient to each parent. Additionally, EACH parent needs to submit their own quiz, if one parent completes the training and the other does not, neither parent will graduate training.) It will be graded and forwarded to the Regional Trainer and recorded.

 

If both parents in the home have not completed both courses, the following link will take you to the online training page:

http://utahfostercare.org/pit/preservice-foster/

We encourage BOTH PARENTS, where applicable to have the quizzes completed and submitted prior to attending in class training. Although you can attend classes if the quizzes are not done.  Please note, you will not graduate from Preservice Training until BOTH parents have completed all the in class training, and each of the online videos with supporting quizzes.  May I recommend doing them as soon as you possibly can to avoid any hold ups!

Give me a call with any questions.  I will do my best to answer them as quickly as I can.

Make your day great,

… <signature went here>

Review our Information Packet at http://utahfostercare.org/become-a-foster-parent/prospective-parent-packet/

please consider the environment before printing this email

 

 

 

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