Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Foster Parenting 101: Licensing

A question we often get is "How does it work?" Here is Part 1 of the process: Licensing.

Disclaimer: This is how we currently understand the process. As we continue through this process we may learn a more realistic process, which we'll share as we discover it!

Another Disclaimer: Foster parenting laws/regulations vary by state, so this is only representative of North Carolina. We are getting licensed through Wake County, so there are differences if you are licensed through an agency or even possibly through another county.

Our first step was to attend an information session given by Wake County Human Services. They are offered monthly, so you don't have to wait too long! Enjoy the short wait at this point because it might be the only part of the process that moves quickly. This was actually much more fun and informative than we ever expected.

At the session we received our initial application. This was a very basic application to verify your residency (have to live in the county), finances (have to be able to pay your rent/mortgage), and a waiver to run a background check (can't have certain crimes on your record).

Then you wait for an invitation to the MAPP class. This stands for Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting. Everyone over 18 living in your house will need to complete this 30 hour course to be licensed. We haven't completed the classes yet, but have been disappointed about the usefulness of these. For example, the first 3 hours focused on the fact that foster care is temporary, aka you have to give them back! It was crazy that this was shock to some people.

During/after the MAPP class, you have individual meetings with the social worker to inspect your home and get to know you more. You also have to complete a very long application, write a detailed biography, pass a simple medical exam, get fingerprinted for an extensive background check and your home inspected by the fire marshal.

Once you complete all of this, your application is submitted to the state for processing. This can take up to 60 days. Then you are licensed!

From start to finish, the licensing process can be completed as quickly as 2.5 months or as long as 9 months. We are hoping that we are on the shorter end of that spectrum!

1 comment:

  1. Saw that you had viewed my blog & recognized you from the nest. Hope todays post didn't scare you ;-) Would be happy to answer any questions you may have...I know I had several in the beginning!We were just licensed in June, so the process is pretty fresh! :-) Feel free to e-mail me from the "contact me" part on my blog & I will give you my direct e-mail address. (That is if you have any interest in having contact!)