Foster Parent Information
The Family Integrity Program is proud to be the only provider of Foster Care services for St. Johns County. We are the only agency in the county that recruits, licenses, services, and maintains Family Foster Homes for our county's children.
What is a Foster Parent?
Foster Parents voluntarily choose to help families who are experiencing very difficult times. A Foster Parent strives to successfully work with emotionally and physically affected children who, by no fault of their own, have been removed from their homes. Foster Parents must work to meet a child's developmental needs, manage difficult behaviors, and maintain a child's connection to identity, culture, faith, and family. Foster Parents are part of a team that includes birth parents, case managers, and many other child welfare professionals, all working together to meet a child's need for love and security in a permanent home environment. St. Johns County Foster Homes only care for children who have been removed from homes in our county.
As a Foster Parent you are expected to:
- Work with your team members to meet all of the needs of the trauma affected child you are caring for.
- Attend medical, dental, educational, and therapy appointments, and assist with sibling and parental visits (when deemed appropriate).
- Work directly with birth parents when deemed as safe and beneficial for the child.
- Give input for court proceedings and participate in case staffings.
- Be proactive, communicate well, and work diligently as a valued team member.
Types of Foster Care
Traditional Long-Term Foster Care – This type of licensure is non-child specific and is available to individuals in the community who are interested in providing care to children with whom they have no pre-existing relationship. These homes strive to meet all of the needs of a child for the duration of the Dependency case, until permanency is reached.
Level 1 Foster Care – This type of licensure is child-specific and is designed for relatives and non-relatives who have an existing relationship with the child placed in their home. These homes are also designed to meet all the needs of a child for the duration of the Dependency case, until permanency is reached.
Respite Foster Care – A home to care for children (already in the Foster Care Program) whose regular foster parent, for whatever reason, cannot care for them for a short, scheduled, period of time.
Regardless of the type of care you provide to the children of St. Johns County, the Family Integrity Program has an on-call case manager and placement specialist available 24 hours a day.
What's in it for me?
A successful Foster Parent will tell you that Foster Parenting is 'the hardest job' they have ever done, just like raising your own children. The reward of successful Foster Parenting is not monetary in nature (though a nominal stipend is reimbursed for each month of care). The reward is in knowing that you, through being a Foster Parent; were a major player in helping to successfully return a child to his / her family, or helping a child find a forever home where they may have a safe and normal childhood. The reward is something that can't be bought.
Who can provide foster care?
As you can see, being a Foster Parent is a very selfless calling, and is very demanding in nature. Successful Foster Homes can be single parent homes, two parent homes, older, younger.... The common thread, though, is a dedication to the children and families they wish to help. Every child deserves a loving and nurturing home, even if it is for a short time. Foster Parents help to make things better, safer, and happier for a child from the moment they step into their home and for the rest of their lives, wherever they may be.
For more information, please call (904) 209-6131, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.