Last month, you learned about some of the children in our county that need homes. If anyone is interested in any of those children, this month’s article is for you! This month’s article will explain the licensing process. When I say process, I mean it can take several months, from start to finish, to complete everything needed for a home study and to ensure you are ready for placement. However, the process does move as quickly or as slowly as you are willing. So, what are the steps? How does one go about becoming a licensed foster parent? First, every county and every agency are responsible for licensing their own foster providers. This ensures that entity has done their due diligence and knows who they are utilizing for foster placements. As you can imagine, this then ensures the best placement for both the child(ren) and your family.

To begin the licensing process, one would first attend an Information Session. Information Sessions are held on the third Wednesday of every month from 5:30-7 p.m. at 1717 Taylor Ave. Racine, WI 53403 in Classroom D and every third Saturday of every month from 10-11:30 a.m. at 740 Center St. Burlington, WI 53105. During that Information Session, one will learn all the ins and outs of the foster care system, a foster parent’s role within that system and more in-depth information about the licensing process. Applications are provided at the end of each session.

When one is ready to move forward with licensing, the applicant(s) return the application with fingerprint cards. Everyone 10 years old and up in the home will have a background check run and those applying for the license will have their fingerprints ran under the Adam Walsh Caregiver Act. After background check information is obtained, a licensing specialist will contact you to schedule an initial home walk-through. During the walk-through, you and the licensing specialist will discuss how much space your home has, where the foster children will sleep and other necessary requirements. Once those two steps have been successfully completed, you’ll be referred to Foundations training. Foundations training is the mandatory 36 hours of training a foster parent(s) go through to obtain and maintain their license.

After successfully completing Foundations training, the licensing specialist will pick back up with you and schedule a series of interviews so that a complete and comprehensive home study can be written. The interview process will involve asking you personal, and at times, sensitive questions. These questions are asked so that the department placing children in your home, know who you are and your abilities and capacities as a foster parent. Once all interviews have been completed, we, Racine County Foster Care, can contact you to ask if you’d be interested in foster care placements.

As always, you can learn more about Racine County Foster Care by attending an Information Session, held on the 3rd Wednesday or 3rd Saturday of the month.

For any questions, comments, concerns or ponderings, feel free to contact Jessica Scheeler at 262-638-6595 or via email, jessica.scheeler@racinecounty.com.

Make sure to catch our article next month to learn about licensing requirements!

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