Becoming a licensed foster care home so that you may accept placements of foster children can be quite an arduous process. In Texas, you must first attend an informational meeting on foster care before you can attend 30 hours of mandatory PRIDE training. After that, you must pass a home study.
That’s home stretch, so to speak, or it is for most, except us….here is Foster2Forever’s Top 3 Ways to Delay Getting Your Foster Care License.
1. LIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
At the time we began our journey to become foster parents, we lived in a small rural Texas town at least 45 minutes from any town over 10,000. We complete our PRIDE training in March 2007, and did not get scheduled for our home study until the end of May, over 2 months later!
We learned later that our current foster home caseworker was the one that scheduled our home study. She’s told us how she struggled to find someone willing to travel so far to our rural home to conduct the home visit for the home study. She jokes with us about how nobody had heard of our village. So if you want a quick home study – don’t live in the boonies!
2. MOVE TO ANOTHER LOCATION DURING THE HOME STUDY PROCESS
We had made the decision a year before (in 2006) to move from the boonies back to my hometown – a city of over 100,000. We had an offer on our rural home in late-March and were closing the end of May. All just in time for the home study visit scheduled the week of our move.
The lady walks into our living room with no living room furniture and boxes everywhere. She had to conduct the interview sitting with us around the dining room table. It went well, and she seemed to understand our situation.
A couple of weeks after our move, we were assigned a home caseworker that informed us that we needed to conduct a new fire and health inspection. We were so happy to be back in civilization, but larger cities do have disadvantages — we didn’t get our health inspection scheduled until mid-July.
Because we had moved, we had to also schedule another home visit. Our new caseworker visited, and we passed the walk-through; however, she did bring some bad news…
3. HAVE A STATE AGENCY REFUSE TO LICENSE YOU FOR FOSTER CARE
Yep, you read that right! I find it hard to believe myself. Especially, given the foster home shortage. But it’s all true! Someone in the agency did NOT want us to be licensed for foster care. “You can be licensed for adoption only.”
“YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!“
Apparently, someone thought that I would get “too attached” to a foster child, since I had no children of my own. I couldn’t believe it! (I still can’t, really)
So we sat as an “adoption only” home for months, until “someone” in the agency was transferred….
What challenges did you face in becoming a licensed foster home?