As of February 2021, there are 5,240 children in foster care in Virginia with 2,964 (57%) children in non-relative foster homes. The children range in age from birth to 17 years
Yes, foster parents can be single, married, divorced or widowed. The Commonwealth of Virginia does not preclude a person from being a foster parent based solely on their culture, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or marital/civil union or domestic partnership status.
Yes, foster parents are able to be employed outside the home. In fact, your local department of social services will provide market rate funding for child care while you are at work.
This is determined for each family during the approval process. Capacity of the home is based on multiple factors. However, the number of children in foster care placed in the provider's home will not exceed six (6):
Foster care is considered temporary and short term. Every situation is unique and a child’s time in foster care depends on the family’s circumstances. However, reuniting the child with their parents is consistently the goal.
Yes, foster parents must work collaboratively with the child’s family members.
For some children, their parents are not able to regain custody and, if relative placement is not an option, the child may become available for adoption.
A worker will be assigned to support you throughout the children's stay in your home. As you foster, there will be opportunities to attend in-service training throughout the year. Children in foster care are covered by Medicaid, which covers all necessary care and treatment. Child care, services and funding for other activities for children may be available. Joining a foster parent support group or the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA), is a good way to get advice and assistance from experienced foster parents.
It depends on the nature, severity of the offense and length of time that has passed since the conviction. Applicants with barrier crimes cannot be approved as a foster parent. All adult household members must have background checks free of barrier crimes.
Children in foster care with a goal changed to adoption must be placed in the adoptive home for a minimum of six months prior to signing an Adoptive Home Agreement. In Virginia, over 70% of our foster care youth who are adopted are adopted by their foster parent.