Foster Care FAQs

1. Do I have to pay for childcare?
Most of the cost for childcare is covered if you use a day care that is on the approved list of Early Learning Coalition in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Requirements can vary from county to county.

2. Can I travel with my foster child?
You can travel within the state after you clear it with the caseworker and notify 4KIDS. Travel outside of the state is permissible, but requires a court order signed by a judge. You should plan travel in advance.

3. Who is allowed to baby-sit for my foster child?
Anyone over 18 years of age who has completed and cleared background screening process with 4KIDS may baby-sit.

4. Where can my foster child spend the night?
If you need to go away, respite with licensed foster parents can be arranged by our office. Any overnights for a foster child in anyone else’s home must be arranged by or approved by 4KIDS. If you are with them, you can stay in a hotel or visit your friends or relatives. Foster children must be provided with a bed of their own. They may NEVER share a bed.

5. Do I get paid for being a foster parent?
You get reimbursed for room and board (tax-free) and the stipend is to be used towards any other expenses incurred on behalf of the foster child. The amount varies according to the age of the child and also varies from county to county. There is also a minimal annual clothing allowance for children who have been in care for 6 months which is typically given in August.

6. Do I have to pay for medical care for the foster child?
No, all foster children are eligible for Medicaid. Dental and vision care is also included.

7. Can I home-school my foster child?
No, the child’s school is often the only connection they have left. It is viewed as an important connection for them. Transportation is set up with the school board shortly after they are placed with you.

8. How long does it take to become licensed as a foster home?
Usually 2-3 months once you have completed training classes. The length of time largely depends upon you. The faster you finish and turn in the paperwork, the faster we will get your licensing completed.

9. What kinds of support and assistance are available for me as a foster parent?
4KIDS provides assistance with:
• Licensing-a support specialist will be assigned to you for emotional and professional support.
• Continuing education classes
• Gifts at holidays for the foster child
• We do our best to arrange respite care for your foster child(ren)
• Special events

10. What are some things which might disqualify me from being a foster parent?
a) You will not be able to be licensed if you are currently in a major remodeling project in your home. You would be put “on hold” until your project is done.
b) Foster parents must show a balanced budget. In other words, your verifiable income must exceed your monthly expenses and you must be able to await reimbursements without any financial strain.
c) Certain types of government assistance may disqualify you, such as section 8 payments, food stamps or aid for dependent children. You may not apply for or collect any financial benefits or government assistance on behalf of the child with the exception of WIC. Foster Parents with infants and young children may apply for WIC on behalf of foster children.
d) Background screening is required. Misdemeanors and felonies could disqualify you, depending on time of occurrence and disposition. There is a process to appeal disqualification and we encourage you to do that.
e) Inadequate space for the child as determined during the licensing process. Every child in the home must have drawer and closet space. There are also other guidelines for sleeping arrangements that must be met. A foster child can share a room with a biological child as long as these requirements are met.
f) Work schedules must be conducive to a child’s stability and well-being.
g) Open or pending civil court matters could delay or disqualify you.

11. If I am married, must my spouse attend CARE training?
Husband and wife must attend CARE training together. Since both will be involved with the child(ren) placed in their home, it is important for both to gain insight and understanding of foster children and the foster care system.

12. Can I keep my preschool child home instead of putting him/her in a daycare?
Once a child reaches age 3, they must be enrolled in daycare to ensure more accountability for the child’s welfare. Assistance for daycare of a child under 3 in Palm Beach is only given if both parents work or are in school part or full time.