More than 23,000 Hoosier children are in need of foster care, according to the Indiana Department of Child Services. By visiting www.in.gov/dcs, detailed information can be found about kids who need temporary, safe, supportive and loving homes. With hundreds of children being removed from dangerous situations, Indiana is in need of licensed foster families to help provide care to kids.
A foster parent’s role includes maintaining confidentiality, providing for the child’s basic needs, participating in court hearings when notified and supporting the child’s positive relationship with his or her biological family. Becoming a foster parent requires meeting certain guidelines, as set out by DCS, before licenses are issued for a period of four years. These requirements include passing a criminal history and background check, demonstrating financial stability, first aid, CPR and universal precautions training, and home visits from regional licensing specialists.
Unlike adoption, fostering a child is done with the intention of helping them safely reunite with their families. When DCS removes a child from an unsafe situation, foster families step in and care for the child while the parents receive help and guidance they need to be able to properly care for their children. The situations can be complicated, and foster parents are there to make sure the child feels supported and loved through the difficult time in their life.
Typically, children placed in foster homes are suffering and need nurtured. A foster child can come from varying ethnic backgrounds, and can range in age from newborn to 18 years of age. They also may have special medical, developmental, mental or emotional needs and may belong to a sibling group or be an only child. Those who choose to provide a stable environment for these children are truly remarkable, and can change the lives of Hoosier kids in need.
While becoming a foster parent can be difficult and trying at times, helping kids who have suffered abuse and neglect from their parents can also be rewarding. Typically, foster kids are only in the foster homes for a short time, and it is easy to become attached to the children.
Foster parents receive reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses made on a per day basis and vary according to the needs of the child. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, visit www.in.gov/dcs/fostercare.htm. You can truly change the lives of young people in our state.
Contact me with any questions or input at 317-232-9643 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h81.
State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) represents House District 81,
which includes portions of Allen County.
A high-resolution photo of Carbaugh can be downloaded by clicking here.