Fostering a child (Cuyahoga County)
Cuyahoga County children need your help. There are more than 2,000 children in DCFS custody through no fault of their own. Victims of abuse and/or neglect, some may need special care or attention to help them deal with the impact of trauma in their young lives. Each of these children needs and deserves a family who will love and protect them, but there is a shortage of homes and facilities across Ohio. You can help by becoming a foster or adoptive parent.
What is foster care?
- A protective service for children and families.
- Full-time care of children, usually on a temporary basis.
- Typically results in family reunification or a permanent, adoptive home.
Who are the children needing foster care?
- Children who have experienced physical abuse, neglect or abandonment; or whose parent(s) are in jail or hospitalized.
- All ages, races, and cultures.
- Some may have physical, developmental, emotional, and/or behavioral issues.
- Many have experienced extreme trauma and deprivation.
What do foster parents do?
- Provide basic daily care and supervision.
- Act in the place of the parent, making sure all needs are met.
- Take children to medical and therapy appointments.
- Apply nonphysical discipline techniques that are fair and age appropriate.
- Advocate for the child and participate in Child and Family Services meetings.
- Support children in their visitation plan with their biological families or prospective adoptive families.
- Supports either reunification or an alternate plan.
- Stays up-to-date on training.
- Respect the culture, race, and background of the children and their families.
What are the requirements to become a foster parent?
- At least 21 years of age.
- Have sufficient income to meet their own basic needs.
- Be in good physical, emotional, and mental health.
- Single or part of a couple --homosexual or heterosexual -- in a stable relationship for at least one year.
- No educational or religious requirements and home ownership is not necessary.
Is there help to foster?
- Boarding expenses, reimbursed at a daily rate.
- Monthly clothing allowance.
- A medical card for medical, dental, and therapeutic services.
- Car mileage reimbursement for necessary transportation of foster children.
- Support groups, scheduled visits, 24-hour access to the agency, and a wide range of supportive services.
To learn more about fostering or adopting contact Cuyahoga County Division of Child & Family Services at 216-881-5775 or submit an interest form on their website at everychildneedsfamily.com.