Start the process to become a foster parent.

How to Be Foster Parents in Indiana

by Heather Montgomery

Over 9,000 children are in the Indiana foster care system, according to the AdoptUSKids website. While many of these children are available for adoption, others are in limbo while waiting for reunification with their biological families after removal for abandonment, abuse or neglect. Regardless of the child’s current situation, each of these children in foster care needs a foster parent to care for, love and nurture her during a tumultuous time in her life. Becoming a foster parent in Indiana might make a lasting difference in the lives of your family members and the life of the child you foster.

1 Visit the Indiana Department of Child Services website to fill out an inquiry form for becoming a foster parent, or call 888-631-9510 to speak with a representative over the phone. You will receive contact information for the Department of Child Services office in your area to begin the process of becoming a foster parent.

2 Review the foster parent eligibility requirements to determine whether you are a good fit as a foster parent. In order to be an eligible foster parent, you must be financially secure, at least 21 years old, able to pass a full background and child abuse check, have transportation, live in a home or apartment and have a stable relationship or be single.

3 Receive a foster parent licensing packet from the Department of Child Services. Fill out all of the required information in full, including information on all members of your household. In addition, you and the members of your household must complete a form to determine your physical health.

4 Compile positive personal reference forms from friends, family members, coworkers or clergy. Submit the background and fingerprint forms to the agency listed by the Department of Child Services in your area.

5 Complete courses in CPR, first aid, universal precautions and the pre-service training course required of all potential foster parent applicants.

6 Meet with a regional licensing specialist for a home study visit. During this visit, the licensing specialist will inspect your home for the required safety measures -- smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, fire escape plans and proper sanitation -- and meet with your entire household to complete the Casey Foster Family Assessments.

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