California foster parenting requires that those interested in opening their homes to children obtain a license in order to operate a foster home. The California Department of Social Services is the agency responsible for recruiting and licensing foster parents and foster homes. A licensing worker is assigned to visit an interested candidate’s home and interview the prospective foster parents. California foster parenting rules have determined certain criteria such as minimum personal, safety, and space requirements in order to obtain a foster home license. Social Services staff then determines the type of children best suited for the foster home in terms of gender, age, health problems and other special needs of the child.
California foster parenting is not expected without support from the state. Foster parents receive money for normal expenses associated with caring for a child, such as food, clothing and other routine and basic needs. Medi-Cal, a state subsidized healthcare program is available to foster parents to cover the medical and dental needs of their foster child.
In California, the state requires foster parents to complete a minimum of twelve hours of annual foster care education. Because more and more children are rotating through the court system with histories of abuse and neglect, California foster parenting requires ongoing education in order that foster parents may keep abreast of current issues affecting the children in their care.
There are a number of private firms that offer ongoing foster care education, often through community colleges and offer an array of classes that contain pertinent information and support to the foster parent.
Foster parenting classes that address timeless and basic parent/child issues along with courses relating to issues specific to California foster parenting and timely issues are available and meet nearly any need being faced by a foster parent. Basic child development, dealing with medical issues and accessing medical and education services are examples of basic courses that every foster parent should know. Current day courses, such as cultural diversity, adolescent pregnancy and prevention, working within California’s complex court system and dealing with the needs of children with certain special health problems such as HIV, passed down drug addiction or the emotional scars of prior abuse are examples of course offerings that may be needed to address very specific issues.
The State of California has made known that it is in need of and welcomes new interest in becoming foster parents. There is particular need for foster homes willing to accept adolescent children. Contact the California Department of Social Services if you are interested in opening your home to a foster child.