How long does it take to become an OYA certified foster parent?
It can take as little as 4 weeks or up to 6 months or more. The length of time depends on the applicant’s and the certifier’s availability as well as the complexity of each family or personal situation.
What does it pay and how is the money to be used?
All foster care providers must demonstrate financial stability without using foster care reimbursement. The standard reimbursement rate is $1,003 a month per youth. Payment is made in the middle of the month and is issued only for the number of nights the youth actually lays his/her head upon a pillow in the home. The foster parent provides basic housing and food for the youth. The foster parent also provides for ongoing clothing, transportation, spending money, recreational opportunities, and other reasonable incidentals. The youth receives a medical card which covers medical, mental health and other necessary treatment.
How many youth may be placed in a home?
The maximum number of youth in a home is three. Factors that determine the number of youth include the size of the home, the size of the family, what the foster parents can offer the youth, and the foster parents’ experience.
What about sharing bedrooms?
Youth cannot share bedrooms with children of the foster parent. They may share bedrooms with other youth, within set guidelines.
What are the ages of youth in foster care?
Youth in OYA range in age from 12-25. Typically, youth in foster care are 14-20 years old.
What kinds of crimes have the OYA youth committed?
Many youth have committed serious crimes including theft, burglary, a sex offense, forgery or assault. Most youth have drug and alcohol issues. Youth assessed as appropriate for foster care have completed all or most of their treatment and have demonstrated behavioral stability.
What about school?
Most youth attend public school, while others may need educational assistance. These youth may have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), and may need to attend alternative schools, vocational, or higher education programs available in the area.
What is expected of foster parents?
Foster parents are expected to role model appropriate behaviors, hold each youth accountable for his/her behaviors, and support the youth in learning new skills and behaviors. Youth are in need of structured supervision. Foster parents are expected to supervise and know where the youth is at all times. Foster parents work with the youth's Juvenile Probation/Parole Officer (JPPO) to establish a case plan for the youth that addresses the needs of the youth, which may include contact with the youth's family. This plan also may include goals around vocational training, school, employment or treatment. For youth who are working, foster parents help the youth budget and save money.
How long do youth stay in placement?
Youth foster care placements can be short- or long-term depending on the individual needs of the youth, which are continually assessed as placement in foster care continues.
How do I learn more?
OYA encourages you to contact your local Certifier to ask questions that will help determine if foster parenting is the right choice for you, your family, and for OYA.