A foster parent has temporary custody of a child who has been removed from their biological family due to abuse, neglect, or another issue which makes their living situation unsafe or unhealthy. When children enter foster care, their parents are given a treatment plan – a list of requirements for them to complete before they are able to regain custody of their children. These things can include drug rehab, anger management classes, or the ability to maintain a stable job and safe housing. The treatment plans are ordered by a judge and are specific to the family’s case. The plan is overseen by a caseworker from the Department of Social Services. If the parents are able to satisfy the requirements of the treatment plan, custody of the children will be given back to the biological parents and the children will be able to return to their family.
- A foster parent is responsible for the 24/7 care of the child that is placed in their home. They should strive to treat the child as they would treat a biological child.
- A foster parent is responsible for maintaining contact with the caseworker to provide updates on the child and receive updates on the case as they are available.
- A foster parent is responsible for providing physical, spiritual, behavioral, and emotional support to the children in their home.
- A foster parent is responsible for communicating with the child’s school. The foster parent should make contact with the teacher to make them aware of the situation. They should work with the teacher to ensure that the child’s educational needs are being met.
- A foster parent is responsible for meeting with their Thornwell foster care family specialist every 4-6 weeks. These visits will focus on training and support. The family specialist will talk with you about how things are going and what needs you may have. The family specialist will provide focused training on the basics of caring for kids from hard places and will address any needs or concerns that you have.
- A foster parent must be over 21 years old with a stable home and stable finances. There are no financial or educational requirements, and you are able to rent your home or be in an apartment.
- A foster parent must be able to pass various background checks, including sex offender registry and fingerprint check.
- A foster parent’s home must pass fire and DHEC inspections.
- A foster parent must complete all paperwork and meet with a foster care family specialist to review paperwork so they can complete a home study that will be sent to a state licensing board for review and approval.
- A foster parent must complete 14 hours of initial foster care training. The training is offered through Heartfelt Calling and takes place on 2 Saturdays. There are many training dates and locations across the upstate.
- A foster parent is encouraged to attend ongoing training offered by Thornwell. We offer monthly training on a variety of topics from the Teaching-Family Model and Trust-Based Relational Intervention. Other training topics included anger management, emotional regulation, issues surrounding grief and loss, ADHD, and behavior management.
- A foster parent receives a monthly stipend to help offset the cost of adding a child to your family. The stipend depends on the age of the child placed in your home.
- Foster parents do not have to pay for any of the background checks or inspections during the licensing process. The foster parent may have to purchase new smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher, or other safety items to meet fire and DHEC requirements, but Thornwell has many donors willing to help offset those costs if needed.
- Thornwell Foster parents have a foster care family specialist that is available 24/7 to support and encourage you through difficult situations. Thornwell’s foster care family specialists are experienced in foster care and are trained in the Teaching Family Model and Trust-Based Relational Intervention.
- Foster Parents join a family or other foster carers and are able to connect with other foster parents through our Facebook support group or quarterly foster family fun events.
- Foster parents are able to build lasting relationships with children and families, and through programs like shared parenting, are able to maintain some of those supportive relationships after a child returns home.
- Foster parents make an impact on the children in their home by providing love, nurture, and safety that they may have never experienced before.
- Your biological children will be introduced to a life of service and caring for others.
How to Apply:
- Prayerfully consider with your entire family if you feel like this is something you should do.
- Seek out any foster parents you know to get some questions answered
- Contact us or attend one of our trainings to learn and discuss any questions or concerns that your family has
- Let us know when you’re ready to begin the licensing process, and we’ll help you get started!