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​What is child foster home care in Oregon?

  • Child foster homes are for children with intellectual or developmental disabilities (CFH-IDD).
  • Children between the ages of birth to 18 years old. The range of support needs is widely varied, and individual plans are developed to address the specific needs of the children in care.
  • Child Foster Homes are single-family residences that offer 24-hour care in a home-like setting that is safe and secure.
  • Homes serve four to seven children, depending on the number of certified adults living in the home.

Goal of CFH-IDD

The goal of the CFH-IDD is to provide necessary care and support while emphasizing effective child-rearing practices to enable a child placed in the foster home to grow, develop, and build positive personal relationships and self-esteem.

The goal is reached through a cooperative relationship between the provider; the child; his/her legal representative, and the Community Developmental Disabilities Program (CDDP) service coordinator. The CFH-IDD provides a setting for the child that encourages nurturing, support, and promotes the mental and physical development and emotional needs.

Role of the CFH-IDD provider

Child foster home providers provide meals, transportation to appointments and other activities, medication management, assistance with activities of daily living, education, personal care, mobility, and household activities. Support is also provided for behavioral challenges, implementation of nursing care, behavior support and individual support plans

Does the state oversee Oregon's child foster homes?

CFH-IDD homes in Oregon are inspected and certified prior to receiving children for care and then every two years to maintain certification. The CDDP certifiers and Regional staff work closely with the certified provider to assure these activities are completed. CDDP certifiers work with the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) to assure that all aspects of certification are complete and to provide technical assistance as needed. Certificates are issued by ODHS. Oregon Administrative Rule (Chapter 411 Division 346) governs the operation of the CFH-IDD.

What does it take to become a child foster home certification in Oregon?

Every applicant for a CFH-IDD certificate must meet certain standards in order to operate a CFH-IDD.

Minimum requirements to become a certified provider include:

  • Being responsible, stable, emotionally mature adults who exercise sound judgment;
  • Passing an abuse and criminal background check;
  • Being 21 years of age;
  • Living in a home that meets the structural and safety requirements of the CFH-IDD Oregon​ Administrative Rule​;
  • Having the financial resources required to open and operate the CFH-IDD;
  • Not being related to the children by birth, marriage or adoption;
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of positive, non-punitive discipline, and build positive personal relationship, self-control, and self-esteem;
  • Being mentally and physically capable of providing care;
  • Successfully completing a minimum of 15 hours of pre-service training prior to certification;
  • Have the interest, motivation, and ability to nurture children with developmental disabilities.

In addition to meeting the minimum requirements listed above, further requirements are needed to be certified for children with significant medical needs:

  • Current satisfactory references from at least two medical professionals, such as a physician and registered nurse who have direct knowledge of the applicant’s ability and past experiences as a caregiver;
  • A positive written recommendation from the department's Medically Fragile Children’s Unit (MFCU) if the provider or applicant has provided services through the MFCU or has historically received services through the MFCU for a child in their family home or foster home;
  • Current certification in First Aid and CPR. The CPR training must be done by a recognized training agency and the CPR certificate must be appropriate to the ages of the children served in the foster home;
  • Copies of all current medical related licenses or certificates must be provided to the certifying agency;
  • Six hours of medical training beyond CPR and First Aid training as appropriate to the ages of the children served in the foster home; or
  • Licensed as a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, emergency medical technician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant.

What are the steps to becoming a CFH-IDD provider?

  1. Contact the local Community Developmental Disabilities Program (CDDP) program certification staff in the county where the child foster home will be located;
  2. Complete an CFH-IDD orientation as scheduled and provided by the CDDP office;
  3. Complete initial application packet and submit to your local certifier;
  4. Complete inspection of the home;
  5. Make corrections as required on the initial inspection; and
  6. Submit completed application materials to your certifier, who will submit to O​DHS for approval of the certification.

How long do​es it take to complete the licensing process to become a foster home? 

Once the county receives the signed and dated application by the applicant the clock starts ticking and the applicant and licenser have 60 days to complete the licensing process.

What are the challenges of becoming a CFH-IDD provider?

  • Losing some privacy as children reside in the home of the provider;
  • Experiencing medical and behavioral challenges or crises that may result in injury or death of the child;
  • Needing to physically assist children;
  • Criminal background records may prohibit some individuals from having access to your home, or employment in your home, regardless of existing relationship;
  • Documentation requirements that include maintaining and keeping up to date medical, educational, financial, personnel and individual child records; and
  • Ability to support foster children may be limited based on the number of other individuals in the home who require care, including bio-children or adult family members.

What are the classifications of CFH-IDD?

Basic CFH-IDD homes must meet minimum qualifications and support children who have support needs in the areas of personal care, education, transportation, medication management and activities of daily living. All children served in Basic CFH-IDD homes participate in educational programs, socialization, and activities to promote growth and development. Basic child foster homes may serve children with behavioral challenges as approved by the CDDP. A provider intending to serve children with significant medical needs would need to obtain a certification for children with significant medical needs.

How much are child foster home providers paid?

Prior to placement, the child’s service payments are determined by a Support Needs Assessment Profile (SNAP). The assessment bases the service payment on the child's specific needs, as determined by the profile.

Can I choose who I want to live in my home?

Yes. Prior to entry into a foster care home, you should receive referral information from the local CDDP service coordinator. The CFH-IDD provider should review this material prior to setting up a screening, or meeting, designed to introduce the child and ask questions about the level of care. The CFH-IDD provider can also show the child and guardian around the CFH-IDD residence at this time. Should the provider and child, and/or his or her legal guardian/representative, agree to placement, an entry meeting will be scheduled and transition activities should begin.

Can I become a CFH-IDD provider to support my family member with a developmental disability?

No. CFH-IDD providers can only receive payment to provide care to children who are not related to them.

How do the Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) affect me?

Every CFH-IDD provider should obtain a copy of the Oregon Administrat​ive Rules (OAR) ​at the time of orientation.

The rules come from Oregon Revised Statutes (or laws) that govern child foster care. They tell the provider about the expectations of care, facility requirements, provider qualifications, documentation requirements, and grievance and investigation procedures. Home inspections are based on the OARs, so it is best to always be familiar with the expectations.

Lack of compliance with the OARs can result in inactive referral status, suspension, revocation, or refusal to renew the certification.

How often will someone come to my CFH-IDD for oversight?

for oversight? CDDP service coordinators should visit the home on a monthly basis if five individual are served in the home, less if there are fewer individuals. The site visits are opportunities to review the operations of the home, meet with the provider and individuals and provide technical assistance. Certification staff will visit at least once every two years for certification inspections, but may have follow-up meetings to assist in the correction of violations and/or provide technical assistance. CFH-IDD providers must comply with the inspection.

What happens if there is a complaint or allegation of abuse in my CFH-IDD?

Complaints are directed to the local CDDP. There, complaints are addressed and resolved. If they can’t be resolved at the local level, there is a process to move the complaint along to higher levels of authority.

If a complaint indicates a protective service action, an investigation may be opened with the local child welfare office. You must comply with all investigation activities. Substantiated allegations may result in denial, suspension, revocation, or refusal to renew the certificate. If this happens, the CFH-IDD provider has the right to a hearing to appeal the decision.

All CFH-IDD providers and caregivers are mandatory abuse reporters and must report to the CDDP and Child Welfare any instances of suspected abuse or neglect.

Can I operate more than one CFH-IDD?

No. Providers are required to live at the certified child foster home.